Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Salmon Cakes

On Sunday, my husband grilled some salmon.  I was working so I wasn’t here to enjoy it, but when I got home Monday morning I saw the leftovers in the fridge.

Later that day I was catching up on some Tivo’d episodes of Barefoot Contessa.  I love Ina Garten.  Imagine my surprise when I saw her preparing salmon cakes.  They looked so good!  The best part was that I already had leftover salmon, and pretty much everything else her recipe called for.  So I changed my meal plan for the night from making pasta to making these salmon cakes instead.  I was glad I did because they came out perfect.

I pretty much stuck to her recipe for these, but I did change it up very slightly. Nothing major. 

She shows  you to bake the salmon with some spices on top, but since I already had some grilled salmon, I skipped that part.  And I will say that I think the grilled salmon added a completely different taste since they had that smokey flavor to them.  Definitely a plus.

She also called for red onions, and I used a small Vidalia onion instead.  And red and yellow bell peppers.  I had the red, but not the yellow, so I substituted the green.  I think it added a nice contrast from the sweet of the red bell pepper.  Didn’t add in the capers either, and that was only because I had none left.  My last change was using 2 large eggs versus the 2 extra large eggs she called for.   The large worked just fine.

These are a definite keeper.  I’ll give you Ina’s recipe but you can certainly change it up  however you prefer.  This is an excellent recipe when you have some leftover salmon. 

Salmon Cakes:

Recipe made from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa”

Serves 4 – 6 (Depending on the size of your cakes)

  • 1/2 pound fresh salmon
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 1/2 cups small-diced celery (4 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)
  • 1/2 cup small-diced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 3 slices stale bread, crusts removed
  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the salmon on a sheet pan, skin side down. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until just cooked. Remove from the oven and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and refrigerate until cold.

Meanwhile, place 2 tablespoons of the butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onion, celery, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, capers, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, crab boil seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Break the bread slices in pieces and process the bread in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. You should have about 1 cup of bread crumbs. Place the bread crumbs on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 5 minutes until lightly browned, tossing occasionally.

Flake the chilled salmon into a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the vegetable mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Shape into 10 (2 1/2 to 3-ounce) cakes.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. In batches, add the salmon cakes and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned. Drain on paper towels; keep them warm in a preheated 250 degree F oven and serve hot.

**Note:  These cakes are very soft when you prepare them.  What I did a little differently to combat this was to place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet in the freezer for about 20 minutes.  Then I fried 4 of them at a time, while keeping the remaining cakes waiting in the freezer until I was ready to fry them up.  This kept them from falling apart on me and worked perfectly.

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2 responses to “Salmon Cakes

  1. Jane July 13, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Oh! Those look so good! I wish my family would eat more seafood! I’ll have to make it for myself! Thanks for adding it to my seafood linky!

  2. boredcook July 13, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    No problem, Jane. They were really good!

    You can mix these up with a different type of fish. Maybe try a fish with a more mild taste like a cod or flounder. Don’t tell your kids what they are. 🙂

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