A perfect quick and healthy recipe for salmon patties made with flax seed meal to increase the Omega-3s and replace bread crumbs to be gluten free.
I love, love, love salmon. That and shrimp are the two things I mostly order when we eat out, if they’re available. Steak-schmake, I’ll always take a salmon filet or a shrimp skewer over it any day. In fact, I’ve never been to most of the steak houses in our town, but I know almost all of the seafood places. I simply find it much more flavorful than a slab of beef.
The only problem with salmon is (and you probably knew this was coming…) the price. Yikes. I don’t do farmed salmon with added dyes (yuck), so that leaves wild caught Alaskan salmon (did you know there’s no such thing as “Atlantic Salmon?” There used to be, but it was fished out many years ago, so if you see that label, it means farmed fish). Oh my goodness, can that set our food budget back.
So fresh salmon is a rare treat which is usually seasonal since that’s when the prices are in the realm of our possibility. But what’s a girl to do who loves salmon? Plus, it’s such a great source of omega-3s, which we need in our diet to balance all the omega-6s we typically get (read more about that here), so we really should be eating it more than a few times a year.
The answer, of course, is canned salmon. But I’ve found there are all kinds of canned salmon and just having the label of “wild caught” isn’t always enough. The cheaper, larger cans seem to taste more like tuna than salmon, so I usually buy smaller 6-oz. cans that cost a bit more, but have more chunks and actually taste like salmon. I like the salmon from Trader Joe’s and Costco, mainly.
Adding chunks of salmon to our chef salads or on top of crackers are typical ways to use salmon, but for main-dish dinners I like to make salmon patties to serve with salad, Asian flavored soba noodles, or with a whole wheat bun for a salmon burger.
Making Salmon Patties
I’ve spent literally years trying to find a salmon patty that:
- actually tasted like salmon after mixing and cooking
- stayed together in a patty form when cooking
- didn’t have a mushy texture
- didn’t have a lot of fillers
I had no idea how hard that would be. I decided right away I didn’t like mayo-based patties (I felt the mayo contributed to the lack of salmon flavor and mushy texture), so that eliminated many recipes out there and I’ve spent the last year perfecting a recipe I created using the simplest of bases:
salmon + egg + a few seasonings + small amount of binder
For most of that time I used our frozen, homemade breadcrumbs for the binder, but I was never really happy with it. And then I read in a magazine about combining salmon and flax seed meal to increase our Omega-3s and a lightbulb went off: why not use that instead of breadcrumbs in my recipe as the binder, increasing the health value of the patties as a result?
Happily, the results were fabulous!
My search and tweaking of this salmon patty recipe is over – I think they’re close to perfection: great taste, great texture, great form, simple & healthy ingredients. And the other, unintended result of the switch? They’re now gluten-free, which is nice for those who need to avoid it.
I hope you try these soon and see if you agree with me!
- 1 can wild salmon (6-oz.)
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 3 Tb. ground flax seed
- 2 Tb. chopped green onion
- 1 egg
- 1 to 2 tsp. sriracha sauce (optional, but so good)
- ¼ tsp. each salt & black pepper (or to taste)
- Drain the salmon and flake into a medium bowl.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Let sit for 5 minutes before dividing evenly into 4 patties.
- Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat and then add patties, sautéing until browned, about 4 minutes. Flip patties and cook another 4 minutes or until evenly cooked and browned on each side.
- Serving suggestions: I like to pair these in the summer with a green salad with chickpeas and onions, drizzled with a Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing (pictured in the photo below). They also make great salmon burgers served with a whole wheat bun, lettuce and tomato. The patties will be more of a 'slider' size, though, so when making regular burger-sized patties, I'd double the recipe so that the 4 patties would fit a normal sized bun.