Salmon Cakes with Lemon-Caper Sauce

IMG_8188 Call me a pessimist, but the first time that I made salmon cakes I wasn’t expecting too much in the taste department. I’m not quite sure what preconceived notions I had, but it must have been something along the lines of a dry, fishy crab cake. So needless to say, it came as a bit of a shock when I took my first bite of these delicious morsels. The inside of the salmon cake was flavorful and tender while the outside was perfectly brown and crunchy. It was one of those moments where you feel like you’ve been missing out on something that everyone else was in on… However, I am now here to share the secret: Salmon cakes are delicious, people!! And they should be a part of your rotating dinner schedule.

I always use fresh salmon in this recipe. I suppose that you could use canned salmon, if need be, but I prefer to cook my own salmon to get it to just the right temperature before I flake it apart. Lately, I’ve been buying frozen wild Alaskan salmon that I found in my local grocery store. It’s great because I always have it on hand when I want to prepare it, and I feel better about feeding it to my family since it’s not farm-raised.

The added ingredients in the cakes really add a lot of flavor and texture. From the chives, to the corn, to the dijon, to the mayonnaise everything works really well together to create a nice balanced bite. The only ingredient that threw me for a loop was the use of saltine crackers. Saltine crackers?? Yes saltines. You grind them up finely in a food processor and use them in place of traditional bread crumbs. They add a nice texture and saltiness to the cakes, so be careful not to add additional salt, or you may end up with salmon cakes that are too salty. The finishing sauce and capers adds just the right amount of tanginess and zing to round everything out!

I also like to pan fry the cakes. It’s just my personal preference. If you’re looking for a healthier way to prepare the dish, the cakes can also be baked in a 400 degree oven. Simply place the prepared salmon cakes on a baking sheet drizzled in olive oil (or cooking spray) and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes on both sides, or until golden brown. I hope you enjoy :)


Salmon Cakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • Salmon:
  • 1 pound salmon
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Patties:
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ⅓ cup (1/2-ounce) chopped fresh chives or green onions
  • 26 saltine crackers, crushed, divided
  • ½ cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • Sauce:
  • ½ cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1½ tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until the flesh is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, about 6 to 8 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool.
  1. Using a fork, flake the salmon into ½-inch pieces and put into a medium bowl. Add the egg, chives, ½ of the crushed crackers, the corn, mustard, mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and mix gently until just combined.
  2. Form the mixture into 2½-inch diameter patties, about ¾ inches thick. (If the mixture is too dry to form into patties, add extra mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon at a time,)
  3. Carefully coat the patties in the remaining crushed crackers and refrigerate for 1 hour. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the patties and cook until golden and crispy, about 7 to 8 minutes each side. Drain on paper towels.
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, capers, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Arrange the salmon cakes on a platter and top with the sauce.

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