It's funny how certain meals you dreaded as a kid, somehow turn into the ones you kind of really miss. So it is with Salmon Cakes, or salmon patties as they were known around our house. I never much cared for them except that my mom always served them with homemade macaroni and cheese that was so cheesy, gooey and delicious that it made up for anything lackluster in the salmon patties.
But taste buds change. Lately I've been craving salmon cakes and so I've turned to trusty ol' Martha Stewart to find a suitable facsimile for the ones mom used to make.
The ingredients for these Martha salmon cakes are really simple, which is what I'm after. They're just onion, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flaked salmon. I used wild-caught canned salmon, but if you want to really Martha out you could poach your own, I suppose. Growing up we used the canned stuff, so that is what I decided to stick with.
Besides, canned salmon is chock full of omega-2 fatty acids and, aesthetics aside, the taste is great. You will need to pick through the meat to remove skin and bones but it's not a big deal.
To make the cakes, take a medium skillet and heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium high heat, then add one medium onion finely chopped. When cooked, transfer onions to a bowl and add breadcrumbs, egg, lemon zest and lemon juice. Then fold in the prepared salmon.
After dividing and forming the salmon mixture into ¾ inch-thick cakes (or patties) dredge them in breadcrumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. You may have to pat a little extra breadcrumb around the sides and to fill-in any spare patches.
Also, I opted for panko breadcrumbs which are light and a bit crunchier and worked just great.
Then just heat another tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet on medium and cook cakes until nice and golden, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
The flavors of the onions and lemon zest are the stars of the show. My own kid wrinkled her nose at the salmon cakes, until I told her they were Krabby Patties like SpongeBob makes and it worked, she ate the whole thing.
Only regret - I served them on a bed of salad greens. Next time I'm making homemade macaroni and cheese to go with them too.