A brief search on the interwebs yielded a mix of recipes for salmon patties, cakes and croquet. About half include canned salmon and the other half fresh. And all of the fresh salmon recipes add the extra step of cooking the salmon, then flaking and breaking it down. I think canned salmon might ultimately win the battle.
There are a few reasons to use canned salmon
- Canned salmon saves time
- Everything in the can can be used
- Canned salmon is significantly less expensive than fresh salmon
- Canned salmon is wild caught, not farm raised
- Canned salmon adds nutrition
I’m a little busy
Although it doesn’t take long to cook salmon, it’s just one more thing to deal with when cooking a simple meal. So, the main dish which only takes about 15 minutes to prep, now takes even longer. First, it’s prepping a pan, then baking or roasting. Then there is the time it takes to let it cool enough so the fish can be flaked. Just the basics of prepping, cooking cooling and flaking the salmon adds about an hour to a 30 minute recipe. I’m a little busy. I have a job and sometimes I get home a little later than expected. I have stuff to do after work and on my days off, like write recipes and take pretty food pictures. I’d rather let the cannery do all of that work.
All canned salmon is caught in the wild, which means no antibiotics or funky fish food. The wild salmon eat whatever wild salmon eat, plankton, small shrimp, and small fish, among other things. The most current count for Pacific salmon are above recommended populations, so this makes them a cheap food source. The fish are caught in nets and canned at canneries almost immediately, locking on nutrient values. The last can I used were packed with very little water, and I ended up using the drained liquid in my recipe. Win for the omegas!
You’ll become a convert
Fresh wild salmon are caught during the summer and fall months during spawning. The fish are then quick frozen, although some gets to the fish markets in a fresh state. But a fish can sit in refrigeration for a longer period, and all the while the flesh is breaking down and losing nutritional value and flavor. Farm raised salmon are the most likely to arrive fresh in your local fish market. The fish can be harvested at any time of the year, keeping our desire for the lovely pink fish in constant supply. This article will give you the low-down on the differences of farm versus wild. I’ll continue to buy fresh wild caught salmon seasonally. Try some wild caught Copper River salmon – you’ll become a convert.
Don’t like the smell of cooked fish in the house?
A few good recipes will change any purist’s mind about the use of canned salmon in recipes. Of course, if you want a light salmon mousse, canned won’t work. But for salads, patties, and burgers, canned salmon is an inexpensive and fast ingredient. And just add a tasty sauce and toppings and the quick meal is done. If you don’t like the odor of cooked fish in your house, put a heavy skillet on your grill and with lots of fat, you’ll have a beautiful pan fried salmon cake in a few minutes. Or you could use my method – a hot plate on a table on the patio!
When I decided to revisit this classic family recipe, it had been at least a year since I had last made the patties. And while making it, I couldn’t believe that I dropped this off of my monthly list of recipes. It’s too easy and too quick and very tasty. Kids love the crunch and the sauce, making a happier meal for everyone.