I try to prepare one meal featuring fish or seafood every week. I think it is important to vary the types of protein that our meals include.
Our whole family likes fish and seafood. In fact, we would probably love having it multiple times a week! But there’s a good reason we don’t.
You probably guessed it: our budget! As delicious as fish is, it can be difficult to feed it to an entire large family while minding the grocery budget.
Thankfully, canned fish is a frugal option and the one I use most frequently for our fish meals. Our very favorite way to enjoy canned fish, and canned salmon in particular, is in these delicious fish cakes!
The whole family loves them and my husband in particular. I love that even when we haven’t been grocery shopping for a while, I typically already have the ingredients I need to make them.
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Usually when I make fish cakes, I use canned salmon. Depending on your budget, you can use either pink or red sockeye salmon that’s wild-caught.
If you’ve never used canned salmon before, you might be a little put off by your first peek in the can. It isn’t exactly pretty, and it does have skin and bones in it. But I promise, once you cook it, you don’t even notice the skin and bones. The bones are actually an excellent source of calcium!
You can also use 2 cans of tuna. When I do that, I like to choose tuna that’s canned in olive oil, like this one. Our family enjoys these with both types of fish.
Salmon & Rice Cakes
- 1 (14.75 oz) can wild Alaskan Salmon, undrained
- 3 c. cooked brown rice
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c. cottage cheese
- 1/2 c. finely diced onion
- 1 T. minced fresh garlic
- 1 c. shredded carrot
- 1 t. salt
- 1 t. dried thyme or parsley
- sprinkle of cracked pepper
- Coconut oil, palm oil, or palm shortening (a non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening) for frying (you can also find these at Tropical Traditions and Vitacost)
- Mix salmon and rice together in a large bowl until evenly combined
- Beat eggs and cottage cheese together with a fork in another medium bowl, then add remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Mix the egg mixture into the salmon mixture and stir until well combined.
- Heat a heavy skillet (I love cast iron!) over medium heat, then add about a teaspoon of oil/fat for frying.
- Scoop out about 1/4 c. of the mixture onto the skillet to form a cake, then continue until the skillet is filled. Fry for about 10 minutes on one side, or until firm, then flip and brown the other side. Transfer to a dish to keep warm, and continue frying until all of the mixture has been used.
When I make fish cakes now, I rarely use the exact Salmon & Rice Cakes recipe. I’ve made these so many times that I know what the mixture should look like before frying, and what substitutions I can reasonably make in case I’m missing an ingredient.
Once you get the hang of the original recipe, try some of these tasty variations!
- Substitute the 3 cups cooked rice for 3 cups of loosely packed shredded raw potato.
- Replace the 1 cup shredded carrot with shredded raw beet, broccoli stem, or butternut squash.
- Out of cottage cheese? Try adding 1/2 cup shredded cheese with 1/4 cup sour cream.
- As mentioned above, use 2 or 3 cans of tuna in oil (undrained, 5 oz cans) instead of the 1 can of salmon.
- Instead of rice, use 3 cups of soft cooked lentils and mash them up well as you do your mixing.
- Use up to 1/4 cup of fresh herbs in place of the dry. Chives are a favorite here!
- Add leftover cooked vegetables to the mixture.
- If ever your variation seems too dry, just add an extra egg to hold it together.
These salmon cakes were made with lentils instead of rice
My husband loves to eat Salmon & Rice Cakes, or another fish cake variation, with hot sauce or hot pepper jelly. The kiddos like theirs with ketchup, and I prefer mine plain. If you like tartar sauce, that might work here, too.
We rarely have leftovers when I make these. The few left hanging around on the pan are generally gobbled up before bedtime by a snacking passerby.
Do you cook with canned salmon or other canned fish? How do you fix it?
This post is a combination of two older posts shared two and four years ago. Since we enjoy this recipe so much, I thought it was worth sharing again in a clearer way.