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Salmon cakes fall apart - why???

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Bethcooks Jun 10, 2010 04:04 PM

I just made salmon cakes and again they fell apart. The recipe is from my mother and until recently I never had this problem. The recipe uses egg as a binder. For some reason, the minute the salmon cake hits the pan it breaks in half and sometimes in quarters. I made this recipe for years and never had a problem but I must be doing something differently but what?????

  1. c
    ColoffulOne Oct 15, 2013 02:21 PM

    I just made salmon cakes last week. I made two batches. The first one with Salmon Classic and 1c. of mayo and the second batch I added Panko Bread crumbs. What I noticed about the first batch is that although a couple of them started to fall apart rather quickly, I noticed that I flipped them too early without them being almost fully cooked on one side. I did notice for the couple that I let sit and brown longer, they did not fall apart and came out great!!!

    As for the batch I added the Panko bread crumbs to, I noticed the taste was a little dumbed down. I feel like I should have add more Old Bay seasoning or something because this batch didn't taste as flavorful as the first batch. The second batch also sat around a little bit before I added the Panko breadcrumbs, so that might have helped them hold together better too. I hope this is helpful!

    1. cowboyardee Jun 12, 2010 10:23 AM

      Wrap the cakes in saran and refrigerate before cooking. That way, you wont need to add breadcrumbs to the mix.

      Also, too large a dice on the vegetables can make the cakes more brittle.

      1. v
        Val Jun 11, 2010 03:53 PM

        Beth, the others are correct..you really need to add some bread crumbs to the mixture...coating the cakes in panko is one thing but you DO need to add some crumbs to the mixture itself AND refrigerate as others have also directed....here's a REALLY great video that I want to try..."nothing in the house" type of cooking...looks SO delish:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR_Url...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Val
          todao Jun 12, 2010 09:18 AM

          Fantastic video Val. Thanks for sharing that.

          1. re: todao
            v
            Val Jun 12, 2010 10:47 AM

            I need to find that tarragon mustard he's talking about...the sauce he makes with it looks incredible.

          2. re: Val
            CindyJ Jun 12, 2010 11:12 AM

            GREAT video. I wasn't aware of foodwishes.com website before seeing that video. Thanks for the tip!

            1. re: Val
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              Scrofula Oct 15, 2013 04:46 PM

              This is the video that taught me to make salmon cakes several years ago, and although I've customized the recipe, the basic method has stayed the same. To this day, it's the only dish that people ask me to make for them.

              Wait, actually, this was the one that got me started (same guy):
              http://youtu.be/hsCx5fAMSNY
              But my current method is closer to your video.

            2. todao Jun 11, 2010 08:54 AM

              If the canned salmon is flaked it needs to be chopped before forming into patties and very well drained.

              1 Reply
              1. re: todao
                Will Owen Jun 11, 2010 02:13 PM

                Okay, I think this is why I was having trouble deciphering the problem. If Bethcooks is just putting everything into a bowl and giving it a quick stir, I could see why it wouldn't hang together. I always work the bejeezus out of it with a fork until it's a more or less homogeneous mass, by which time it doesn't really need any more binder - the fish fibers and egg have become a single substance, pretty much. I do however add some crumbs in there, but I don't think it's really necessary if the mixture isn't too wet.

              2. ipsedixit Jun 10, 2010 09:00 PM

                Once the patties are formed, refrigerate them for 1/2 hour or so. This will prevent them from falling apart when you cook them.

                1. ChristinaMason Jun 10, 2010 04:58 PM

                  Maybe your pan is not hot enough? Or you're not draining the salmon as well as you used to? Without seeing the recipe you're following, it's hard to say.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ChristinaMason
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                    Bethcooks Jun 10, 2010 06:07 PM

                    Recipe is very simple: 2 cups canned salmon, 2 beaten eggs, 1/4 c. red/yellow bell peppers, some chopped onion and celery which have been cooked in oil till soft but not brown, 1 - 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning. Form into cakes. Coat with fine panko or bread crumbs. Brown in hot butter [I use a combination of oil and clarified butter] They taste fine. Actually I wondered if maybe the canned salmon has changed????

                    1. re: Bethcooks
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                      LauraGrace Jun 10, 2010 09:00 PM

                      Hmm. If you haven't changed anything else, I wouldn't rule out that the salmon has changed. But looking at that recipe -- there's no starch in the actual cake itself? Just egg as a binder? Huh. I always include some kind of starch, usually leftover mashed potatoes or bread crumbs, in addition to egg.

                      1. re: LauraGrace
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                        VikingKvinna Jun 11, 2010 12:23 PM

                        I second the mashed potato idea - I always do that with my salmon patties. I also always chill them in the fridge before frying.

                        1. re: LauraGrace
                          Emme Jun 11, 2010 03:08 PM

                          my mom always used bread crumbs... so i use almond meal and it works really nicely... just enough so they don't fall apart, and they remain delicate and lovely. the almond meal doesn't have a pronounced flavor but people always ask what's in them... salmon, onions (sauteed), egg, parsley, pepper, almond meal... voila!

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