Chef John's Fresh Salmon Cakes


Salmon cakes are one of my go-to emergency meals. Every once in a while I like to use fresh salmon. Salmon is one of those products, like chicken, that's very easy to get into a rut with. People generally find a few recipes that work for them, and just stay with those, but this fairly simple preparation should be easy to add to anyone's rotation. Serve with lemon wedge and remoulade sauce. You can use any bread crumbs instead of panko breadcrumbs, if desired.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins
4 salmon cakes


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • ¼ cup minced onion

  • 2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper

  • 2 tablespoons minced celery

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon capers

  • 1 ¼ pounds fresh wild salmon, coarsely chopped

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 1 pinch seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay®)

  • 1 tablespoon panko bread crumbs, or to taste

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed


  1. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion, red pepper, celery, and a pinch of salt in hot oil until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add capers; cook and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

  2. Stir salmon, onion mixture, mayonnaise, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, garlic, mustard, cayenne, seafood seasoning, salt, and ground black pepper together in a bowl until well-mixed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firmed and chilled, 1 to 2 hours.

  3. Form salmon mixture into four 1-inch thick patties; sprinkle remaining panko bread crumbs over each patty.

  4. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-heat. Cook patties in hot oil until golden and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

    close up view of a Salmon Cake with salad and a lemon wedge on a plate
    Chef John

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

460 Calories
34g Fat
9g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 460
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 34g 43%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 337mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 7mg 37%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 459mg 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love