Salmon is one of my favourite fish, and I am so lucky to live on the west coast where we have fresh, local, wild salmon available. But I do find that if I’m going to cook up a nice fillet of sockeye salmon, I want to do it on the day I purchase it. It’s just not the same after freezing it in my opinion. Sadly, fresh salmon isn’t available all year long, and it can be a bit pricey. What is a budget-conscious salmon lover to do?!
Fortunately, perfectly tasty and nutritious canned salmon is available all year round. Not only do you not need to worry about it going bad, but it is definitely easier on the wallet (and often goes on sale – stock up when it does). Or if you are adventuresome, you could even get whole sockeye and can it yourself, like my grandpa used to do. Funny story – my mom grew up eating my grandpa’s canned salmon, and didn’t know until she had moved out on her own with a friend that you could even buy canned salmon at the grocery store!
Of course, canned salmon isn’t exactly the same as eating a nice fillet. You need to come up with a different way of preparing it. Sure, you can make salmon salad with some mayo and throw in a sandwich. You can make my mom’s Salmon Loaf (which I recommend as a great alternative to meatloaf). Or you can make these tasty zucchini salmon cakes.
Aside from a little chopping and mashing, these are a breeze to throw together on a weeknight for a quick meal. You might even have most (or all) of the ingredients on hand in your pantry and fridge. Adding zucchini to these salmon cakes not only allows you to extend how far your salmon goes, but it keeps them moist. I’ve also added celery, green onion, and red pepper so they have plenty of flavour, and to up the veggie content. Plus the little flecks of colour make them oh so pretty.
Not only are they a great source of protein and omega fatty acids, but because they use canned salmon, they are also a good source of calcium – as long as you mash the bones into the cakes as well. And I highly recommend you do. Serve them up on a green salad or in a pita stuffed with your favourite veggies. Add salsa, guacamole, or tzatziki to jazz it up – I went with a homemade version of the latter. Delish!
Zucchini Salmon Cakes
serves 4 – 6
Delicious, economical, and nutritious, these salmon cakes make an excellent weeknight meal. Not only is salmon a great source of omega fatty acids, but using canned salmon with the bones means these are a good course of calcium too! Serve them on top of a green salad or create a pita with your favourite veggies and some tzatziki.
- 2 cans (213 g each) canned salmon (I used sockeye)
- 1 small zucchini, shredded, squeezed of any water and dried (should yeild approx 1/2 cup)
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- I green onion, diced
- 1/4 cup red pepper, diced
- 2/3 c panko bread crumbs
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- olive oil for frying
1. Drain the canned salmon. Remove any skin and large vertebrae (they don’t mash well). Mash salmon and other bones well.
2. Mix in zucchini, celery, green onion, red pepper, and panko.
3. Stir in eggs, dijon mustard, dill, garlic, and salt and pepper until just combined.
4. Form into 12 patties. Set aside.
5. Heat frying pan over medium heat. Add a little olive oil (maybe 1 tsp) to coat bottom of pan. Add salmon cakes in batches, cooking 3 – 5 min on each side, until golden brown. Add oil between batches if needed. Serve warm or room temp.
Note: Make these gluten-free with a gluten-free bread crumb. You can also use canned pink salmon which is even cheaper than sockeye.
Do you like salmon? What’s your favourite way to enjoy it? Share in the comments!