YIELD Serves 2 to 4, Makes 6 to 8 patties
For the salmon cakes:
2 cups cooked salmon, flaked (from 1 pound raw salmon, or 2 6-ounce cans salmon)
1/2 cup bread crumbs or Panko, plus more to coat the patties
1 medium shallot, minced (about 4 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons minced herbs, like dill, fennel fronds, or parsley
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
2 teaspoons Dijon or yellow mustard
For the creamy garlic sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 garlic cloves, shaved on a microplane, pressed through a garlic press, or very finely minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Heavy cream, to thin, if needed
Salt, to taste
- Combine the flaked salmon, bread crumbs, shallot, and herbs in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together the mayonnaise, egg, and mustard in a small bowl, then pour on top of the salmon. Stir until everything is evenly mixed.
- Divide and shape the salmon into six medium or eight small patties. Place them on a plate, spaced a little apart. At this point, the patties will feel very loose and wet; transfer the patties to the refrigerator and chill for at least 15 minutes (or cover and refrigerate for up to a day). This help firm up the fish cakes and makes them easier to fry.
- While the fish cakes chill, whisk together the mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon juice. Add heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, to thin it to a pourable consistency if needed. Cover and set aside for at least 15 minutes, or refrigerate for up to a week. The flavors will taste very harsh at first, but will mellow with time. Taste the mayo after it’s had time to mellow a bit and add salt if needed.
- When ready to cook the salmon cakes, film a large skillet with olive oil and set over medium-high heat. While the skillet heats, place a few spoonfuls of bread crumbs on a plate or bowl and dip each patty to coat with crumbs. When the pan is hot enough that a flick of water evaporates right away, place the salmon cakes in the pan spaced a little apart.
- Fry the salmon cakes for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden on the underside. Flip and fry for another 3 to 5 minutes. If they seem to be frying too quickly or slowly, adjust the heat.
- Transfer the patties to serving plates, top with some of the creamy garlic sauce, and serve while still hot. These salmon cakes are great served over lemon dressed arugula.