Little Patty

October 18, 2009

salmonpatties1Last weekend’s birthday party excesses left us with a heap of leftover poached salmon – the perfect excuse to indulge in some sixties-style comfort food: the classic salmon patty.

I made these last Sunday for a friend whose French mother happened to telephone as I was cooking and, being French, asked what was for dinner. My friend graciously described these little babies as salmon croquettes, which sounds far more glamorous. You can call them what you like, but they are sweet, crunchy, deliciously simple.

I enjoyed them so much that I cooked them again in a different house a few days later – this time not with leftover salmon but one medium fillet. Both times I discovered that a little salmon goes a hell of a long way (a single salmon fillet and one large potato made 12 medium-sized patties, for example), so I had leftovers to freeze both times. The second time I steamed the salmon fillet till just cooked through. This recipe is for the single fillet as it’s easier to work out quantities, but you’ll be able to judge for yourself – I’d suggest marginally more salmon than potato, and enough egg to make it bind.

What you need:

  • Steamed/cooked salmon, flaked
  • 1 potato, peeled, cooked & mashed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 bunch dill stems, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • very fine breadcrumbs (I hate buying them so made my own, but whatever works)
  • salt & pepper
  • vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • yoghurt, honey & chopped dill, for dolloping

salmonpatties21. Fry the onion, garlic & dill stems till soft.

2. Combine the potato, salmon & onion mix in a bowl.

3. Add the broken egg and mix till well combined.

4. Form the mix into patties about 5cm diameter, and while the oil is heating, coat in breadcrumbs on either side.

5. When the oil is quite hot, shallow-fry on both sides till golden, and drain well on kitchen paper.

Serve with a green salad and a big fat dollop of yoghurt mixed with a little honey, lots of salt and chopped dill.


  1. They sound yummy, Charlotte. I like the idea of just using dill stems in the mix but I’m not sure why. Is it for extra crunch or because you’re going to be sprinkling with the leaves later? And was it a palaver separating the two?

  2. For crunch and intensity of flavour, but also I hate throwing them away. I think I am actually becoming my Aunty Pat. No palaver at all, it’s just the base end of the dill, I didn’t separate anything – just chopped the bunch in half crosswise, if you know what I mean. And I use most of the dill leaves in the yoghurty dollopy thing. Am I understanding your question, or have I gone bonkers in this past week of writerly isolation by the sea…?

    • Yep, you’ve got the question quite clearly, and answered it beautifully. I imagined some tedious stripping action rather than a swift, crosswise chop. I’m relieved to learn the truth as I am, as you know, no fan of the culinary palaver – unless of course it’s going to be fun.

  3. Yum yum yum. I’ve just cooked your patties for dinner (for 4) and we devoured them all. None left for the freezer. Thanks for a great recipe. I did the dill yoghurt too which was delicious, although I just did dill + yoghurt, keeping it simple for family fare. Loving your food.

    • Ooh goody! So glad you liked ’em. I actually could probably eat the whole batch myself, but then I am a champion greedy pig.

  4. Okay, now I know where I went wrong. I am actually a good cook. Nevertheless, when I tried to make salmon cakes (yet another name for these) I used (store bought) breadcrumbs in the filling, making them heavy, dense, and indigestable. I should have used potato. What was I thinking? I’m going to try again using your recipe.

  5. Matt makes salmon patties with a dukhah/breadcrumb coating. More extra crunch…. yummy

    • These are foolproof Grad, foolproof. Potato and egg, bingo. They are pretty hearty, though sort of nicely flaky if you get the spud/fish ratio right. And Lou that sounds damn fine. I thought you were talking about za-ataar (however do you spell that?) the other day, which I thought would be a bit too strong on the flavour front, but that sounds delish.

  6. We just had salmon patties – thumbs up from everyone here – though I realise now I forgot the egg, and they were a little fragile to turn in the pan, but very yum. I added some spring onions to the patty mix, and some dijon and a slurp of red wine vinegar to the yoghurt/honey/dill. We had them with lightly steamed choy sum and dukah. Thanks for reminder of a retro classic. (I will try some dukah in breadcrumb mix next time, that sounds good.)

  7. You go to people’s houses and cook for them? Do drop by next time you’re in the neighbourhood, won’t you?

  8. These look and sound scrum-didly-umptious, Charlotte. Perfect springtime fare, too, with a nice big salad and a frosty glass of vino… mmmm….

  9. When I started off cooking at the eager age of 10 years (greedy piglet from way back, I am) ‘salmon rissoles’ was part of my initial repertoire as taught by mum. And with her salmon rissoles the potato, finely chopped onion and egg was the basis (along with tinned salmon, plus one or two more things). I still make my mum’s very simple recipe as comfort food, but I really like the sound of yours, Charlotte, so I’ll give that a try.

    By the way, I’m a great believer in chopping the dill the way you do, too. But it’s a bugger of a herb to grow – I’ve given up trying to maintain a steady supply – too fickle and quick to go seedy or just cark it.

  10. […] couple of fillets of salmon in the freezer and a couple of spuds can yield a heap of salmon patties for a […]

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