photo 2-3Bone-in, fatty fish rock. Let me count the ways: calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids, easy storage. I could go on.

I have no trouble downing bone-in sardines and other tiny fish, and I have many recipes using them, too. (Like this one for Sardine Mayo, this one for a Sardine Scramble and this one for a Simply Sardine Salad.)

But salmon is another story.

I like my salmon raw, sans bones. (In other words, salmon sashimi. It’s kind of my signature food.)photo 1-3

Trouble is that most sushi joints likely use farmed salmon which does not have the same fatty acid profile as wild salmon. And, my sashimi is blissfully boneless.

So, I bought a couple of cans of the pink stuff to try to incorporate wild, bone-in salmon to my rotation.

As it was Plants-a-palooza week, I wanted to use an herb that I hadn’t eaten yet, so I added fennel and also some lemon.

Like my Crab Cakes with Thyme, you cook these in a skillet and then an oven before flipping. Even then, you need to work carefully or they will fall apart.

I have to say, these suckers exceeded my wildest expectations. I thought they were delish, and I ate them for lunch three days in a row. The recipe, as written, makes about six cakes. I made two each of the three days and the mixture held up well in the fridge.

Salmon Fennel Cakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3
  • ¼ of a large, yellow onion, cut into pieces roughly
  • 1 small bulb fennel, stems and leaves removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 7.5 oz. cans of bone-in wild salmon, drained
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TBSP butter or other solid fat
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add roughly chopped onion and fennel to food processor. Pulse until finely chopped but not pureed.
  3. Pulse in lemon zest and salt.
  4. Remove veggie mixture to a medium bowl and wipe processor clean.
  5. Add drained salmon to food processor and pulse until well broken up but not pureed.
  6. Add lightly beaten egg and pulse until well-combined.
  7. Mix fish with veggies in bowl.
  8. Melt 1 TBSP solid fat (I used butter) in medium-high oven-safe skillet.
  9. Make 2 patties (or more if you have a large skillet) and place in skillet.
  10. Cook until bottom begins to brown.
  11. Transfer to oven.
  12. Cook at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes.
  13. Carefully flip each cake with thin spatula.
  14. Cook an additional five minutes.
  15. Remove and serve. (I served over lightly dressed lettuce.)

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