Ya’ll are going to have to forgive me here, but I led a deprived childhood. There were no salmon patties in Illinois. I did not even know about them until we moved to the South. But I got here as quick as I could because somehow I just knew there were salmon patties in my future.
This was the cheap go-to meal of Mark’s childhood. His family grew up without a lot of money, but canned salmon was always accessible. In the foodie world of 2010, canned salmon may seem an abomination. But in the 1950s, it was cheap and a good form of protein. And you know what? It’s still on the supermarket shelves which means that more than a few people like it. Now Spam is also still on supermarket shelves and that’s a whole other story. I just never could cozy up to Spam. A friend of mine used to make sushi with it but that’s because she’s from Guam and they were all about the Spam after World War II and it remains so to this day. Actually all of the Pacific is in love with Spam, including Hawaii. And that’s a good thing because it’s probably kept the Spam company afloat.
But I digress.
Now you have to admit this looks pretty tasty, doesn’t it? The key is to make the patties so they will hold together while you fry them. The amount of breadcrumbs you use as a binder is variable. Just make sure you use enough to keep those puppies from falling apart in the pan. And then the other tip is to LEAVE THEM ALONE. Let them brown. Shake the pan and if the patties don’t move freely in the oil, let them be. It’s O.K. to use a spatula and peek to see if they’re brown. But the crunchy exterior is key to a satisfactory salmon pattie.
1 14.75 ounce can of salmon
¼ cup finely diced onion
¼ cup of finely diced red pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon dill
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove bones and skin from salmon. Add remaining ingredients and form into patties. Heat ½ inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry salmon patties until golden brown on both sides.