After my cauliflower dinner that featured salmon, I had some left over and knew exactly what else I needed to make with this. All growing up, my mom would make salmon patties every so often and every time I saw that pink can of salmon and a sleeve of saltine crackers, I knew… Salmon patties were for dinner that night! I honestly believe that the less you do to salmon patties, the better they are. I love the delicious flavor that salmon has so I didn’t want to change my moms’ method too terribly much because hers really kept faithful to the beauty that salmon has to offer.
*When it comes to moms and grandmas recipes… I usually don’t touch them… At all. Those to me are sacred. Those recipes invoke nostalgia and bring many good childhood memories to surface and so my rule is “no touchy.” This is an exception because I had salmon scraps!*
To make these salmon patties stand out a bit, I threw in fennel fronds and chopped parsley which I think adds some freshness because of the parsley and highlights the natural sweetness because of the fennel fronds.
If you all are wondering what fennel is and what it tastes like… sit back while I educate you! Fennel is a bulb vegetable and has a sweet flavor to it. It very much is akin to licorice and smells like anise. This flavor especially pairs well with seafood in general; seafood naturally has a sweet profile to it so fennel marries nice with those types of dishes. Sometimes I feel like the fronds, however, are overlooked. There is just as much flavor in these fine feathery leaves of fennel that add a nice subtle flavor without the mess of cooking the bulb.
This goes the same for any vegetable that has greens (carrots for example); so if you are looking for something to give your dish an extra umpf… try using an under-used part of a food (like the greens of fennel or carrots) which will already be in your dish, just to give a different aspect to look at and taste.
I used rice flour with this application because I wanted a fine flour to coat these patties in; I feel like all-purpose flour would get gummy and be too heavy for this application, rice flour is nice and fine and doesn’t gum up like all-purpose will tend to.
The reason why we sear the patties in a pan is because we want that awesome crust but it won’t cook all the way through, so we want to finish them in the oven so we can keep that beautiful GBD (golden brown and delicious) crust but keep the moisture from not over-cooking the patties on the stove top.
These go well with just about anything; I just happened to have cauliflower puree leftover so they went on top of some heated puree. I chose to garnish with a bit of un-chopped fennel fronds just to tie back to what was already in the patties.
If I wanted to elevate this dish even more and do a full shout out to my childhood, I would do a spring pea risotto (these patties were usually served with just good ol’ white rice and peas) with a slightly spicy remoulade.
Magnifique! Go ahead and make these tonight for dinner and let me know what you think! Happy eating everyone!
- 8- 10 ounces salmon
- 9 each saltine crackers roughly crushed
- 1 each shallot fine dice
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons fennel fronds chopped
- squeeze lemon juice
- 1 each Egg scrambled
- To taste salt and pepper
- rice flour for breading
- vegetable oil for quick pan fry
In a food processor, pulse the salmon cubes until chunky. Add crumbled saltine crackers with salt and pepper, lemon juice, and egg. Pulse until barely combined. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Add herbs and shallot, mix until combined.
Heat oil in pan under medium-high heat, preheat oven to 350 degrees, line sheet pan with aluminum foil.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop patties into rice flour and coat evenly. Transfer to a clean cutting board or plate, pressing until a patty. Repeat for whole mixture.
Place floured patties into hot skillet and let cook until golden brown on the bottom side, about 4 minutes. Flip and let other side cook 2 minutes. Transfer to lined sheet pan.
Place patties in oven and cook 8-10 minutes.