sweet potato salmon cakes

May 3rd, 2013

sweet potato salmon cakes

I’m on the fence as to whether or not that is an appetizing photo. You might just have to trust me that these salmon cakes (salmon burgers?) are delicious. Delicious and quick and heathy to boot. At dinner time, checking off two out of those three is usually a win. All three is a freakin home run.

sweet potato salmon cakes

This recipe is my (highly) modified version of this salmon burger recipe. A good friend of mine made it for me, kindly converted it to be gluten free, and it was amazing! I’ve made it many times since and have come up with a few more changes.

making mayo

The first change I made was to swap out store bought mayonnaise for the homemade stuff. Wait! Don’t go! Homemade mayo is not too fancy for you or too complicated for you. Just remember when you [insert thing you did and thought was going to be super hard] and it turned out to be pretty simple. Okay, insert making your own mayo. This stuff is lovely. I’m guessing you wouldn’t really enjoy eating a spoonful of mayo out of the jar. The homemade stuff will have you licking the bowl!

smoked paprika mayo

Add some smoked paprika and it gets even better.

sweet potato salmon cakes

I had never bought a can of salmon before, tuna, yes, but never salmon. Wow they shove the whole fish in there: bones, skin,  fat, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rogue eyeball one day. After you get over the initial eww, turns out it is a lovely and cheap way to enjoy salmon. The can I bought up there is “wild alaska salmon,” which I think is fancy ad talk to trick you into believing it’s wild caught. Since then I’ve found the same large size can at Whole Foods that really is wild caught. At 2.99, it’s two dollars cheaper too.

sweet potato salmon cakes

sweet potato salmon cakes


for the salmon cakes:

  • 1 14oz can of salmon
  • 1 small sweet potato, cooked (in the oven or microwave), cooled, and mashed.
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons homemade mayo (recipe below)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • small handful of parsley, minced
  • zest of one lemon*, and juice of half that lemon

for the smokey mayo:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • about 1/2  cup oil (light olive oil is very nice. I used a mix of macadamia nut oil and olive oil because that is what I had. Please don’t use canola oil, it’s really no good.)
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of smoked paprika
  • salt to taste

sweet potato salmon cakes


to make the smokey mayo:

Combine egg yolk and mustard in a small bowl (the french do it in a tea cup, or so I’ve heard). Whisk until blended. Add a tiny bit of oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, and whisk whisk whisk. Keep adding drops of oil and whisking until the mixture looks emulsified (i.e. not weird and oily). Gradually add remaining oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick. If you keep whisking, it’s hard to go wrong, but the internet is there if you do. Add the lemon juice and salt, whisk. Set aside 2 teaspoons for the salmon cakes. Stir the paprika into the rest. Voila!

to make the salmon cakes:

Drain the can of salmon. You can, in theory, eat all the salmon bones, but I remove the larger backbones. I suggest dumping the salmon in a small bowl and removing the bones. Then combine all the ingredients (including the salmon) in a large bowl. Mix with a spoon or your hands. Shape into small patties. They will be a little wet (if you don’t like this, use a larger sweet potato). Melt some butter in a non stick pan (cast iron, teflon, or my new favorite blue steel). I’d say about 5 minutes a side, maybe less.  Serve with your lovely homemade mayonnaise.

sweet potato salmon cakes with smokey mayo

*it’s easiest to zest the whole lemon, then cut it in half. I speak from experience, people. Then you can use one half for the mayo and the other for the salmon cakes.


Posted in food/recipes.

17 Responses to sweet potato salmon cakes

  1. That’s definitely an appetising photo…I want to eat these now!

  2. Dorie says:

    thank you for opening a can of salmon, because now I might ever open a can of salmon.

  3. Abby K says:

    These look great, I think I’ll make them this weekend. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to substitute for the egg? My son is allergic. I’m good at substituting eggs in baked goods, but not sure in savory recipes like this.

    • meg says:

      Abby, I’d say just leave it out. I’m sure they will work without it!

    • Steffie says:

      You can omit the egg altogether, and they taste just fine. However, they were a little more difficult to present nicely. They fell apart during flipping and transferring out of the pan. Still tasty, and my toddlers didn’t care what they looked like :)

  4. Karin says:

    Keep ’em coming, please. This recipe, like the smokey eggplant, looks amazing and I know the smokey eggplant is amazing because I’ve already make it twice. Thanks!

  5. kristin says:

    Oh that looks super good. HUNGRY.

  6. Kethrim says:

    Look for the cans that say BONELESS Salmon- no bones to pick out (yes, I know that they’re fully edible, but fish bones seriously gross me out).

    For the mayo, any non-olive oil suggestions? Would love to make this for my mom, as she has a lot of food allergies and usually has to live with plain fish, but she is allergic to olive oil. I usually use canola oil for most things, but since you explicitly warn against it (thanks for the warning!), is there another non-olive oil that you would recommend?

    • meg says:

      The macadamia nut oil was really good. I’ve heard avocado oil is yummy too!

    • Steffie says:

      This worked nicely with grape seed oil, which is my go to alternative to olive oil.

  7. Jenny says:

    These look amazing! I have a recipe that I love but I think the sweet potato just won me over… Plus the fact that this is gluten free makes it a winner in my book. Making this this week!

  8. tokeberry says:

    Do you wanna know why you haven’t spotted a ‘rogue eyeball’ yet? ‘Cause they’re all cooked down- aha ha .

  9. I’m am definitely going to make these and my boys better eat them! Oh and you had me chuckling over ‘rogue eyeball’ thing…

  10. atia says:

    this looks delicious! I’m going to make some of that smoked paprika mayo to have with dinner right now.

  11. molly says:

    oh HECK yeah to salmon cakes. we made some this weekend, after a too-long hiatus, just flaked fish, cracker crumbs, egg, ginger and leeks. dipped in panko for crunch. oh so good.

    now, if i could just learn to love mayonnaise. (yes, i’ve made it myself, many times. no, still can’t stand the stuff. if i add me and myself to i, there me three of us mayo-phobes out there. what gives?)

  12. Tara says:

    ooh, this looks really yummy. I’m a major salmon cake fan though my family is not as impressed.