Here’s a tasty, fun and colorful recipe for salmon cakes with a melon salsa that may get some of your most finicky fish eaters on board.  What I love about this recipe is its versatility and simplicity.  For those who find salmon too strong, you can substitute a milder whitefish such as cod or halibut.  You can serve the fish cakes as a main course, or make them smaller and serve as an appetizer. Or you can make them bite size and pass them around as an hors d’oeuvre accompanied with some tartar sauce for dipping.  If you buy the fish already grilled or poached, the fish cakes mix up and fry in about half an hour.  The melon salsa adds a refreshing and colorful touch, and once all the fruits and vegetables are chopped, the salsa comes together in minutes.    Enjoy!

Ingredients for Salmon Cakes

  • 1 ½  pounds grilled or poached salmon*
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ½  teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ¾ cup dried whole wheat bread crumbs
  • canola oil for frying the salmon cakes
  • melon salsa (recipe below)

Into a large mixing bowl, flake the salmon into small pieces with a fork or by hand, making sure to remove any bones.

Heat the 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a medium skillet, then add the onions and cook over low heat until softened and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and parsley to the onions and cook for one minute until well combined.

Add the onion mixture to the flaked salmon.  Then add the fresh whole wheat bread crumbs, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and mix all ingredients together.

Shape the salmon mixture into about 10 to 12 patties.  Place dried whole wheat crumbs onto a large plate and coat the salmon cakes on both sides with the dried whole wheat bread crumbs.

Pour enough canola oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet by about 1/8 to 1/4 inch.  Make sure the oil is hot before you place the salmon cakes in the skillet.  To test the oil, sprinkle a few bread crumbs in the skillet—if they sizzle, the oil is hot enough.  Fry the salmon cakes until they are golden brown on both sides.

Serve with melon salsa and/or tartar sauce.


* I buy the salmon already poached or grilled to save time.

Ingredients for Melon Salsa

  • 1 cup seedless watermelon, diced
  • 1 cup cantaloupe, diced
  • 1 cup honeydew, diced
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple*
  • ¼ cup green pepper, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil

In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon and pineapple juices, white wine vinegar and oil, then pour over the first nine ingredients.

With a spatula, fold all ingredients together until well incorporated.

You can serve immediately or refrigerate.

Essex Fells Magazine

May 2012


* I buy a small can of crushed pineapple in its own juice and use the pineapple juice in the recipe.