The Salmon Dance

My beloved is generally pretty good about trying new and different foods. But for years, I could never get him on board to eat Salmon Patties. Apparently, the ones he’d eaten in the past he didn’t care for, and so whenever I suggested Salmon Patties for supper, he would make a bit of a face and suggest something else.

A few years ago, ‘though, I was feeling under the weather one day, and I was craving Salmon Patties badly. So I decided to go ahead and make some, and to ensure that hubby (who is a long, tall drink of water with a hearty appetite) would have enough to eat, I made up an extra-large batch of my homemade macaroni and cheese as one of the sides, figuring that if nothing else, hubby could make a meal out of the mac and cheese and veggies; otherwise, I’d just have some mac and cheese left over for some lunches or as a side for another meal.

Well, peoples, hubby surprised me — and himself — by absolutely devouring them! He couldn’t believe how yummy they tasted. 🙂

So yes, I had lots of leftover mac and cheese, but no leftover Salmon Patties. 😉

However, I now no longer have to be feeling under the weather to make these quick, delicious patties for supper — and more often than not, it will be hubby who says, “Hey, how about Salmon Patties for supper tonight?” 🙂

“They” are always telling us that we should eat more fish, and these Salmon Patties take advantage of the convenience of canned salmon. Myself, I’ve gotten to where I prefer the no-drain foil packets of salmon (and tuna), but a tin of salmon will work, as well. While there is controversy regarding farm versus wild-caught fish (and in this day and age, it seems there’s some kind of controversy about almost everything), regardless, the general consensus (at least according to Wikipedia!) is that salmon is better for you than not, whether it’s wild caught or farmed:

Salmon is a popular food. Classified as an “oily fish”, salmon is considered to be healthy due to the fish’s high protein, high omega-3 fatty acids, and high vitamin D content. Salmon is also a source of cholesterol, with a range of 23–214 mg/100 g depending on the species. According to reports in the journal Science, however, farmed salmon may contain high levels of dioxins. PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) levels may be up to eight times higher in farmed salmon than in wild salmon. Omega-3 content may also be lower than in wild-caught specimens, and in a different proportion to what is found naturally. Omega-3 comes in three types, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); wild salmon has traditionally been an important source of DHA and EPA, which are important for brain function and structure, among other things. The body can itself convert ALA omega-3 into DHA and EPA, but at a very inefficient rate (2–15%). Nonetheless, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the benefits of eating even farmed salmon still outweigh any risks imposed by contaminants. The type of omega-3 present may not be a factor for other important health functions.

A simple rule of thumb is that the vast majority of Atlantic salmon available on the world market are farmed (greater than 99%), whereas the majority of Pacific salmon are wild caught (greater than 80%). Farmed Atlantic salmon outnumber wild Atlantic salmon 85-to-1.

There are countless variations on Salmon Patties. Many call for including lots of mayo and/or sour cream in the mixture, which takes something that starts out being light and healthy (salmon) into something heavy and high in fat. I like to make my Salmon Patties as inspired by a recipe in my Betty Crocker’s Big Red Cookbook, where the patties are served with a sour cream-dill sauce on the side. That way, it’s easier to control how much (or how little!) sauce you have in your own serving. Also, me being me, I lighten it up further by making the sauce with reduced-fat sour cream and reduced-fat salad dressing (light Miracle Whip) or reduced-fat mayo (light Hellman’s Mayonnaise).

For me, the trick to making yummy Salmon Patties that aren’t all greasy, yet still brown up nicely and hold together, is to use a non-stick pan. With a non-stick pan, all I need to do is very lightly oil the pan; then my salmon patties brown up nicely, but absorb virtually no additional oil.

This recipe is easy to adjust up and down. If you’re using a 15 – 16 ounce tin of tuna, you’ll have enough to make 4 patties. If you’re using the 6 ounce packets of no-drain salmon, it will be easier for you to halve the recipe or increase the yield by 2 more servings (e.g., using 3 packets of 6 ounce no-drain salmon would yield 6 patties). Add in some quick and easy sides, and you can have a healthy, yummy meal on the table with minimal fuss, be it a harried weeknight or a leisurely weekend or holiday.

I don’t fuss much with this recipe and use what I have on hand. For example, if I don’t have green onions, I just finely dice up some of whatever onion I have on hand, perhaps adding in a bit of chives (if I have them) for a bit of color. Sometimes I’ll use cracker crumbs instead of soft bread crumbs. And if you ever wanted to experiment a bit, you could add in some seafood or fish seasoning, lemon pepper, and such instead of the dill in the sour cream sauce — or even add those seasonings to the patties themselves.

However you make it, it’s so yummy and so quick, you’ll find yourself doing the Salmon Dance! (Go on, take 4 minutes out of your life and check out the fun animation in this video — you know you want to! But please be forewarned there is a bit of adult language, though, so you may not want to listen to it around young ears.)

Salmon Patties with Enlightened Sour Cream-Dill Sauce (Makes 4 servings; you can easily adjust this up or down)

For the patties:

  • 1 can (14 – 15 ounces) salmon, drained, skin & bones removed, and flaked OR 2 (6 ounce each) no-drain foil packets of salmon
  • 1 egg OR 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • Milk as needed (1 or 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 medium green onions, chopped OR finely dice a bit of whatever onion you have on hand
  • Up to 1 cup of soft bread crumbs (about 1 1/2 to 2 slices of bread) or cracker crumbs as needed (I start off with a lesser amount of bread or cracker crumbs and add in more as needed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Canola or olive oil (for cooking the patties)

For the Dill Sauce:  (I tend to eyeball this sauce, using just a bit more sour cream than salad dressing or mayo, rather than measure everything out, as I’ve found we tend to use just a dollop of the sauce for each patty)

  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream (I just eyeball it)
  • 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise or salad dressing (I eyeball it)
  • Dried dill weed to taste  (3/4 to 1 teaspoon, or more or less, to suit)
  1. Make Dill Sauce. Place in ‘fridge to let flavors to meld.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, lightly beat egg. Add in salt, pepper, and minced onion; stir in bread crumbs. Mix in flaked salmon. Add in a splash (or two) of milk, if needed, and/or more bread crumbs, if needed.
  3. Shape into four patties of desired size (3″ to 4″ in diameter).
  4. Very lightly oil a non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat.
  5. Cook salmon patties, turning once, until golden brown — about 8 minutes total (4 minutes per side). Dress each individual serving with Sour Cream sauce as desired.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers. Or, double-wrap completely cooled patties with cling wrap, then place in a freezer bag and freeze.

About MissieLee

I love tasty food prepared in a healthy way with a budget in mind.
This entry was posted in Fish/Seafood, Main Dish and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Salmon Dance

  1. MissieLee says:

    Hubby gobbled it all up before I could even think about a pic! LOL. 😉 All gone…just some leftover kale and mac ‘n’ cheese (both of which will be yummy as lunches and/or with other meals).

  2. Vikram says:

    Looks lovely as always DB, but I wish we had a picture of the final result! 🙂

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