Sockeye Salmon Cakes

November 8, 2014

I attended the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC), held September 19-21, 2014 in Seattle.  In exchange for registering for the conference at the discounted blogger rate, I agreed to write three posts about the conference.  Additionally, as a sponsor of the conference, Bristol Bay Sockeye provided salmon appetizers to attendees.  The content of this post and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

Occasionally I toy with the idea of becoming a true vegetarian (for the past few years, my diet has been about 90% vegetarian).  Eliminating poultry would be easy, since that would just mean swapping out chicken broth for vegetable broth.  Beef, venison, and pork would be little trickier, since I have a soft spot for the occasional batch of corned beef and cabbage, French onion soup, venison stew, and split pea soup with ham.  But my true line in the sand is salmon.  Smoked salmon is one of my desert island foods (the others are French bread and apples).  I can singlehandedly eat a pound of lox, and salmon is my go-to entrée at not-so-vegetarian-friendly restaurants.

So obviously, the food highlight of the International Food Blogger Conference in Seattle last September was the opening reception sponsored by Bristol Bay Sockeye, with a whole buffet's worth of sustainably sourced salmon appetizers.  They were also handing out sockeye salmon recipes, one of which I've adapted below.

Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Appetizers
Bristol Bay Sockeye appetizers at 2014 International Food Blogger Conference

If you've never encountered canned sockeye salmon, a word of warning: you need to pick out pieces of skin and vertebrae before you can start cooking.  Although this can be a bit time consuming, the flavor of the sockeye makes it worth the effort.  These salmon cakes are enhanced by a traditional Scandinavian pairing of dill and mustard, while panko (Japanese bread crumbs) crisp up to form the bottoms of the cakes.

Adapted from the recipe provided by Barton Seaver to Bristol Bay Sockeye

Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as an entree


  • 14.75 ounce can sockeye salmon
  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Drain the salmon and remove skin and large bones.  Flake into a small bowl.

Flaked Sockeye Salmon

Add the panko, dill, mayonnaise, and mustard and mix until well-combined.  Season with salt to taste.

Sockeye Salmon Mixture

Form the salmon mixture into 4 equal patties, about 1 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

Sockeye Salmon Patties

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Melt butter in a medium oven-safe skillet over medium-low heat.  Tilt skillet to evenly coat with butter.  Gently place the patties in the skillet and cook undisturbed until edges are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Place skillet in oven and bake until tops of the cakes are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Sockeye Salmon Cakes