Zesty Salmon Cakes

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Salmon cakes have never been healthier and easier! You’ll see how and why.

I’m certain this is another one of those dishes you often find in a upscale restaurant or at a beach front restaurant… you pay a pretty penny just for a couple salmon cakes on a crowded platter of greens with minimal tartar sauce that is likely some pre-packaged crap from who knows where. And not to spoil anything for you but the salmon is probably farm raised too because it’s cheaper. How about you make at least a dozen wild caught salmon cakes, save yourself a shit ton of money and you can always freeze half of them for future use? Sounds like a damn good idea to me. Plus it’s packed with good protein, fiber, nutrients, flavor and all that can make a heart happy and healthy.

If you want to make this gluten free you can replace the bread crumbs by using gluten free bread, cube it, bake it until they’re crunchy like croutons and pulverize them in a food processor until they’re all crumbs. If you’re looking to keep things low-sodium then don’t use the soy sauce. There’s plenty of flavors going on in this recipe you won’t miss it. Lemon is a great salt substitute. Also, for a healthier alternative make my Homemade Tartar Sauce. It’s incredible and much healthier, even tastes better. Plain Greek yogurt is a great substitute to not just sour cream in many cases but also mayo.


My favorite part about doing this food blog is encouraging people to get creative. You don’t have to eat the salmon cakes as is; you can really amp it up by serving it in a salad or crumble it up in a taco or even make it a salmon burger if you like with all the goodies you like on a burger. It’s about time we find healthier alternatives than just hamburgers and hot dogs for these warm days ahead. And I’m all for pushing it with this recipe. Let me know how it turns out for you!


about a dozen

12 oz. wild caught sockeye salmon, baked
1 cup cooked quinoa (about 1/2 cup uncooked)
1/2 small brown onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon, ginger paste
1 tablespoon, low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons dry dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
5 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten


3/4 cups mayonnaise (or low-fat plain Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup bread ‘n butter pickle slices, finely chopped
1/4 small onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon pickle juice
1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Make the tartar sauce in advance by combining all the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover it and place in the fridge for at least 45 minutes. You can make this hours before or the night before if you like.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and lay the salmon in it. Top it with a little salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake it at 400 F degrees for about 15 minutes. Let it cool and then use a fork to break apart the salmon into small flakes.

Place the salmon flakes into a large bowl and add the cooked quinoa, onion, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, ginger paste, soy sauce, dill, salt and pepper. Mix everything together and add 3 tablespoons of the bread crumbs and one beaten egg. Mix together thoroughly and check for texture. The texture should be firm enough to hold shape. Add the remaining bread crumbs and beaten egg if needed.

Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees, spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and form each salmon cake to about 3 inches wide and 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick. Or to your desired size. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until a light golden crust forms on top.

Serve warm or room temperature with the tartar sauce.