When I started cooking, I made an elaborate version of salmon patties with lime zest, dill and scallions. After trying a gluten-free diet, I couldn’t make the traditional patty held together with saltine crackers and dusted in all-purpose flour. I discovered that mashed potatoes made an excellent binder (no need for eggs, flour or crushed up crackers) and also helped to make these more economical for weeknight meals as I was working my way through college. That’s why I learned to do this salmon and potato patties recipe.
Salmon patties are my go-to comfort food recipes when I feel homesick or need a quick meal that I know by heart. It’s also infinitely adaptable. Lime or lemon zest jazzes it up, and mayo can be added to the mix for an extra bit of indulgent, buttery flavour. Add chopped fresh dill, parsley, chives or a dash of Old Bay seasoning. Or, keep it simple and stick with salmon, potatoes and saltines. Just don’t forget the scallions. (I promise, they’re worth it.)
- 12 ounces of Yukon Gold or new potatoes
- 12 ounces of salmon filets
- 4 scallions, white and light green parts are minced
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped chives
- Cornmeal or flour for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Pat the salmon filets dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Line a piece of parchment paper or foil on a baking sheet. Place the seasoned fillets skin-side down on the sheet. If you want to add more flavour to the fish, lay a thin slice of lemon and a few chives spears on top.
- Bake the fish for 4 to 6 minutes per half-inch thickness. Most filets are usually close to one inch thick, so check your fish for around 8 minutes to see if the salmon flakes easily with a fork. If not, continue to roast and check every few minutes. The salmon should be opaque and tender but observe so it does not overcook.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow the filets to cool slightly. Flake the fish, pulling it away from the skin, and put the meat in a bowl. (Discard the skin.) If you're using canned salmon, you can skip this step. Instead, make sure the fish is drained, rinsed, and flaked.
- Chop the potatoes, place them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a generous pinch of salt and set the pan over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender (about 10 to 20 minutes). Drain and mash. Add a dash of milk or water in which the potatoes boiled so they don't dry out. Cover the pan and set it aside.
- Mix the flaked salmon and mashed potatoes together. Add the green onions and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Add a generous amount of cornmeal or flour to a deep, wide bowl or plate for dusting. (I like to use cornmeal because it provides a nice texture and crunch without creating a crust that's too tough.)
- Use your hands to form palm-sized patties that are just a little less than 1-inch thick and dust both sides with cornmeal. (Keep in mind that I have small hands. If you have larger palms, make your patties slightly smaller. They should measure 2 to 3 inches in diameter. The smaller size helps them to hold together better.)
- Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil (canola, olive or coconut) in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add your dusted patties to the pan. You probably need to work in batches depending on the size of your skillet. Let the patties fry on one side until they are easily loosened from the pan, about 4 to 6 minutes. If you move a patty and it seems stuck to the pan, give it a bit more time to cook. They should release without force when the side is browned and crisp.
- Flip them over and cook the other side for another 4 minutes or so until golden brown. Set the cooked patties aside. Gently and carefully wipe out the pan in between batches and add fresh oil to avoid burning any bits of cornmeal or flour that came off of the patties. Repeat with any remaining patties.