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Crispy Panko Salmon Patties

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Salmon patties coated in panko breadcrumbs and pan-fried until golden brown.

Salmon patties coated in panko breadcrumbs and pan-fried until golden brown.

Tender salmon croquettes with a crispy-crunchy coating

Salmon cakes, salmon patties, salmon croquettes – this yummy salmon dish goes by many names. No matter what you call them, these pan-fried, golden goodies are a delightful mix of tender and crisp, meaty and crunchy.

Salmon cakes tend to be a life-saver sort of meal at my house because they can be made on a moment’s notice with items from the pantry. Pouches of salmon and a canister of ready-made, dried bread crumbs are almost always in my panty; other ingredients are eggs and onions, which are staples in my fridge. This makes salmon cakes a great dinner to whip up for those nights when I realize -- at 5:30 p.m. -- that I haven’t remembered to set out any meat to thaw. Another great thing about salmon cakes is that everyone in my family loves them, so I’m guaranteed not to have leftovers.

I prefer to use the salmon that comes in pouches; of course you don’t have to. You can use fresh (already cooked) salmon or canned salmon, but for convenience I prefer to use the pouch salmon. Like canned salmon, pouch salmon keeps in the pantry almost indefinitely. Unlike canned salmon, however, the pouch salmon has no bones or skin that must be picked out, and no liquid that must be drained.

For this recipe I use two different types of breadcrumbs. That may sound a little overboard or unnecessary, but each type serves its purpose. When assembling the salmon mixture, I use regular old seasoned breadcrumbs to help the patties keep their shape. However, before cooking the cakes, I cover them in panko breadcrumbs, which provide extra crunch.

For the coating, you can substitute standard breadcrumbs for panko and the salmon cakes will turn out well, but not as crunchy. However, do not substitute panko for standard breadcrumbs when making the salmon mixture. I tried that once, but the panko breadcrumbs disintegrated into a pile of mush. I do not recommend them for that portion of the recipe – only for the coating.

My preferred salmon for making salmon patties. This product comes in two sizes; I use two of the larger (5-ounce) pouches for this recipe, which makes 6 medium-sized patties.

My preferred salmon for making salmon patties. This product comes in two sizes; I use two of the larger (5-ounce) pouches for this recipe, which makes 6 medium-sized patties.


  • 1/2 - 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • Two 5-ounce pouches salmon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground preferred
  • 1/2 cup dried, seasoned breadcrumbs
  • olive oil for frying
Mold the salmon mixture into a ball, then press it into a patty shape.

Mold the salmon mixture into a ball, then press it into a patty shape.



  1. Chop the onion. You can make it as chunky as you like, but I tend to prefer that the pieces be fairly finely diced.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the salmon from both pouches with the onion and eggs.
  3. Add salt, pepper, garlic and about ½ cup of regular (not panko) breadcrumbs to the salmon/onion/egg mixture. Mix with a fork until well blended.
  4. Divide the mixture into six equal portions.
  5. Roll one portion into a ball, then gently flatten it to make a patty about ½ inch to 3/8 inch thick.
  6. Place the patty in the shallow dish of panko crumbs and gently press down to coat the patty with crumbs. Flip it over and repeat to coat the other side with crumbs.
  7. If handling the patty to shape it and coat it in crumbs causes it to fall apart easily, this means the meat mixture is too wet. Place the patty back in the bowl with the rest of the salmon mixture. Add about ¼ cup more standard breadcrumbs and mix well again. Try molding a patty again; if the patties still will not hold together, mix in another ¼ cup of standard breadcrumbs. Divide into six portions again, shape portions into patties and coat each in panko crumbs.
  8. Pour enough olive oil into a skillet so that the oil is about 1/8 inch to ¼ inch deep. Turn the stove burner to medium to medium-high and allow oil to heat for a few minutes. Place panko-crusted patties into the heated oil and cook until browned, about 5-6 minutes. Carefully flip each salmon cake and cook until the other side is also browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  9. Move salmon patties to paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, Cajun hot sauce or "Betty's Dill Pickle Remoulade" from the video, below. On the side, Cajun dirty rice, crusty French bread or even fettuccine Alfredo go nicely, as do steamed fresh vegetables such as carrots, sugar snap peas, broccoli and zucchini.

This dill pickle remoulade sauce is easy to make and goes wonderfully with salmon croquettes.

DId you make these salmon croquettes? If so, please let me know how you liked them.


Claudia Mathews on February 26, 2015:

This is great! Had been wondering what to do with a can of salmon I have. Tomorrow nights dinner is going to be good!

BTW, Im brand new here and having fun reading different Hubs. I would sure appreciate it if anyone reading this would check out my Hubs (just 2 atm) and hopefully decide to follow me :-)

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on July 07, 2013:

Thanks PegCole, they really are yummy! Kind f a throw-back food, LOL. Thanks for reading and commenting. Please let me know how you like them if you get a chance to make them! I have also made them using leftover freshly cooked salmon filets.

Thanks also to vespawoolf, above, I don't know I missed your comment so many months ago. I haven't seen you around HP lately; I hope you're doing well!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 07, 2013:

What a nice trip back to childhood where we often had salmon patties for dinner. Ours were made with canned salmon, crumbled Ritz crackers and no onions as the chef (Mom) didn't care for them. Yours look delicious and easy to make. Nice pictures.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on November 26, 2012:

We don't have salmon here, but we do have tuna in pouches. I'm going to try this recipe as we enjoy tuna and it's a good source of Omega's. This reminds me of the salmon crouquettes my mother made when I was a child. They were covered in creamed peas. I like the idea of your remoulade sauce better! : )

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