Tag Archives: yogurt

Salmon Cakes

6 Jul
Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes

It’s like the croquettes of Japanese taste,

using popular ingredients of salmon from Canada

Let’s enjoying it with a white sauce of mustard flavour,

and sharing with friends from childhood times.

Let’s forking Salmon Cakes!


My host in Japan, M, invited over a group of her childhood friends for a pot-luck party. Hoping to make a good impression and also introduce a little bit of Canadiana to the meal, I opened M’s tiny fridge, contemplated the limitations of two burners, minimal counter space, and the slim physique of my wallet, and decided that with just a few ingredients and a little kitchen gymnastics, I could make something “Canadian” and yet appealing to the Japanese palate: salmon cakes.

Off to the market for potatoes, mustard, yogurt, salmon and parsley – everything else was in her kitchen, and likely yours, too. A half hour later, I was frying these up and mixing the sauce. Easy-peasy, Japanesey.

Let’s Forking!

Ingredients for Salmon Cakes: (makes 8 – 10 pieces)

For salmon cakes:

  • any cut of salmon or other fish, enough to make about 3/4 cup when cooked and flaked (I used a fillet about the size of a piece of sandwich bread)
  • 6 small – medium potatoes (firmer types like Yukon Gold are best, but anything is fine – a great use for leftover boiled or baked potatoes)
  • 1/4 large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped (can use cilantro instead)
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 – 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • oil for pan-frying

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup non-fat yogurt, thickened (see step 1) or sour cream (as is)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp Mayonnaise (Japanese mayo preferred)
  • 1 – 1/2 tsp. grainy mustard
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to Make Salmon Cakes

1. Thicken the yogurt for the sauce. I often use thickened yogurt in place of more fatty sour cream. It’s easy to do – think of your yogurt like your morning coffee. Simply put the yogurt in place of coffee grounds in your coffee maker or drip device (in a filter, of course! Paper towel will do in a pinch, but is less efficient) and place a cup below collect the excess water. Leave for a half hour to one hour, or however long you have. The longer you leave it, the thicker and creamier it will be.

2. Cook the potatoes and salmon. If you can multi-task, save some time here. Peel potatoes and bring to the boil in plenty of water on one burner, and pan-fry the salmon in about 2 tsp. oil on another. If you have leftover potatoes and/or fish, this is where you really save time. Boil potatoes until you can pierce the centre with a fork (about 7 = 8 minutes if you cut them into golf-ball sized hunks, and then drain. Cook salmon in the frying pan skin-side down until almost fully cooked, and then flip over to finish it off.

3. Mash the potatoes, flake the salmon. Roughly mash drained potatoes with a potato masher (leave in some chunks for texture) and skin and flake the salmon, ensuring you take out all bones.

4. Saute the onions in a little bit of olive oil or butter, until translucent and soft. If you like, you can add some diced red or yellow pepper for colour.

5. Mix the potatoes, salmon, and onions in a large bowl, and season with mustard, cumin, salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley and mix until incorporated.

6. Add eggs to bind. The potato mixture won’t stick to itself, so add an egg and mix to bind the ingredients together. Depending on the starchiness of your potatoes, you may need 2. If you find you’ve put in too much, you can make the mixture less sticky by adding bread crumbs, or flour if you don’t have any.

Salmon Cakes mixing

Salmon Cake Mixture

7. Make the patties and dust with flour. Shape the mixture into patties – whatever size and thickness you like and place on a cutting board or cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap or wax paper and dusted with flour to prevent fish cakes from sticking. Dust the tops with the flour.

Salmon cake prep 2

Salmon Cake Patties

8. Pan-fry the fish cakes in about a tablespoon of vegetable oil on a large frying pan over medium-high heat until browned (about 3 – 4 minutes). Flip over and finish off, placing the completed fish cakes to cool a little before serving.

9. Make the sauce by mixing together the thickened yogurt and all other ingredients.

10. Enjoy!! the fish cakes with a healthy dollop of sauce. They also taste great cold as a midnight snack, straight from the fridge – yum!

Let’s Forking!