Crispy salmon cakes with fruit salsa

Dress up canned salmon with a tasty topping!

Although I grew up loving to eat fish, I know it’s not something everyone is accustomed to preparing and serving. Fish can be a tough sell for kids especially, which is why I always offered a pleasing distraction (some sort of condiment) when my kids were younger. They became big fans of tartar sauce at an early age and graduated to other kids of accompaniments as the years went by. I’m glad I got them used to eating fish as it’s such a nutritional powerhouse. When it came to dressing up fishcakes made with canned salmon, a bright fruit salsa was always a huge hit; you can adapt this recipe depending upon the fruit you have on hand.

salmon cakes with fruit salsa


For the salsa: 

  • 1 mango, pitted and diced *
  • 1/2 large sweet red or green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) minced red onion, chives or green onions
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar/white wine vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) Sriracha or other hot sauce (or more, per your taste)

* substitute with 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced fresh or canned peaches OR diced fresh, frozen or canned pineapple

For the salmon cakes: 

  • 2 cans (approximately 125g each) tinned salmon (drained of any liquid)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) red onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) sweet red or green pepper, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL)mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro, parsley, chives or green onion tops
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Canola, avocado or olive oil, for frying

For the breading:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) milk or water
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) Panko or other dry breadcrumbs


  • Make the salsa by combining the diced fruit and lime juice in a bowl. Add remaining salsa ingredients, toss, then season with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Salsa can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered and refrigerated.
  • Make the salmon cakes by combining all ingredients (excluding oil for frying) in a large bowl. Mix well (it’s easiest to do this with your hands).
  • Shape salmon mixture into small patties (smaller than hamburgers to make them easier to flip) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Freeze for at least 30 minutes so they will be firm enough to coat and fry without falling apart.
  • Before cooking the salmon cakes, get the breading organized in an assembly-line fashion. In a small bowl broad enough to hold one salmon cake at a time, combine egg and milk and mix well. Put flour in another small bowl, put Panko or breadcrumbs in a third bowl.
  • Cook the salmon cakes by heating 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick frying pan.
  • While pan heats, dredge the chilled salmon cakes in the flour, then dip into egg/milk mixture and finally dredge in breadcrumbs, patting gently to ensure the crumbs adhere.
  • Fry salmon cakes until well browned on both sides, turning once, very gently. Don’t overcrowd the pan – do in batches if necessary, adding more oil as needed. If cooking in batches, place in preheated 300F oven to keep warm while you finish.
  • Depending upon the size of your cakes it should take approximately 5 minutes per side.
  • Serve hot with fruit salsa or other condiment of your choice such as tartar sauce or tomato salsa.

Note: Once salmon cakes are fried, they can be refrigerated until cool (if not serving immediately). Once cool, cover with plastic wrap to store in fridge for up to 24 hours. Reheat in a preheated 325F oven for about 10 minutes, until heated through.

Makes 8 large salmon cakes or 14 small ones.


Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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