When you only eat out 2 or 3 times a year, every time is a treat. So it can be hard to know if the food is actually super delicious, or if it’s just super amazing to have a lovely dimly-lit atmosphere and hot food you didn’t make placed in front of you.
But when we recently went on a patio lunch date to celebrate Carl landing a permanent full-time job, we were both pretty sure the fish cakes were straight-up super delicious. We’ve ordered fish cakes before and always been decidedly underwhelmed, so I’m not sure what inspired us to try again, but try we did. This was, after all, a place called Bow & Stern – surely their fish offerings would all be on point?
They were so good that a week later, when planning a 15th anniversary lunch to make at home, I decided to try recreate them. I hadn’t looked too closely at what they were made of, but I had an idea in my mind of how they should taste. They should taste exactly like this.
Perfectly moist, full of fresh flavours, mostly consisting of large chunks of salmon (preferably fresh, although canned will do), lightly pan-fried, and served on a dollop of sweet red pepper jelly.
I never would’ve thought of the addition of red pepper jelly if we hadn’t been served them that way at Bow & Stern – so good! If you’re local, I highly recommend checking out this family-run gem in Abbotsford or Chilliwack…we also devoured their fish and chips and fish tacos, and I may or may not have gone back only a couple weeks later with a friend and loved the salmon burger too (if this delicious patio schedule continues I’m going to far surpass my 2-3 times per year eating out rate :))
These little patties can also be made slightly bigger and served on a bun with a tangy coleslaw for a delicious salmon burger. They’re easy to throw together and take only minutes to fry, since you’re working with pre-cooked fish.
If you like seafood, give ’em a try and let me know what you think!
- 1 lb fresh salmon filet, cooked
- Garlic Salt (I used Lawry’s Seasoning Salt)
- Black Pepper
- Olive Oil
- ⅛ cup dried minced onion
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives (2 tsp if using dried chives)
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Generous pinch of chili flakes
- 1 tsp seasoning salt
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp each olive oil and butter, for frying
- Red pepper jelly, for serving
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- Season salmon with garlic salt and pepper. Pan fry in a bit of olive oil, or bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness of fish, until fish flakes easily with a fork - don't overcook! Let cool for 10 minutes before proceeding.
- Meanwhile, combine minced onion with water to rehydrate onion.
- Transfer salmon to a medium bowl and break it apart gently with a fork, removing any bones. Add rehydrated onion, chives, bread crumbs, eggs, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Stir until evenly combined. (Mixture can be refrigerated at this point for up to a day.)
- Form salmon mixture into about 12 patties about 3-4" in diameter and ½" thick.
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once sizzling, add half of the salmon cakes and sauté for 3½ - 4 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove to a paper-towel lined plate, add remaining 1 Tbsp oil and 1 Tbsp butter and repeat with remaining salmon cakes.
- Serve on a dollop of red pepper jelly, or leave the pepper jelly on the side for dipping.
If mixture is too dry and patties seem crumbly, add another Tbsp of mayo. If it feels too wet and isn't holding together well, add extra bread crumbs, 2 Tbsp at a time.
To make salmon burgers, form mixture into 8 larger patties and cook for an extra minute per side.
*Inspired by Bow & Stern and adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen’s Salmon Cakes Recipe. She has some great step-by-step photos and instructions. I omitted the extra step of chopping and sautéing vegetables, reduced the mayo, and bumped up the flavour with the chili flakes and pepper jelly.