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Forget Crab: Throw Together These Salmon Cakes With One Can Of Fish

Eliza Sullivan
May 27, 2020
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Salmon Cakes with Avocado and Chimichurri
Image by David Loftus / Contributor
May 27, 2020
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You've heard of crab cakes, and maybe salmon burgers, but these salmon cakes take the two ideas and put them together to great success. And summer and seafood go hand in hand, but while we're limiting our shopping trips, it's not always feasible to keep seafood on hand.

But canned fish is a great option for eating more seafood while you're social distancing, and in his new cookbook The Tinned Fish Cookbook, Bart van Olphen gives us plenty of inspiration for how to use these pantry essentials.

As a sustainable fishing advocate, van Olphen is on a "journey to cook and fish with the world's most amazing sustainable fishing communities." And a crucial part of that sustainable seafood world is canned fish options, including the salmon used here.

Not only does this recipe give the perfect recipe for salmon cakes, but it also gives two simple and easy condiments to pair them with: a chimichurri and an avocado spread.

Chimichurri is an uncooked sauce, common in South American and Mexican cooking, that comes together with a mix of herbs and seasonings—usually parsley, but here mint and cilantro pair perfectly with ginger and red chile to top the salmon cakes.

Salmon Cakes With Chimichurri

Serves 2


For the cakes

  • ½ lb. floury potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • Handful of arugula, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ bunch of chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • One 6-oz. tin of salmon, drained

For the avocado spread

  • 1 avocado, stoned and flesh removed
  • ½ shallot, finely diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the chimichurri

  • ½ red chile, seeded
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 shallot, halved
  • ¼-inch piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch of mint, leaves only
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil


  1. To make the salmon cakes: Boil the potatoes in plenty of salted water until done, approximately 15 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.
  2. Roughly mash them before mixing in the scallion, arugula, chives, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Lastly, add the egg and salmon, and mash with a fork until everything comes together in a coarse mixture.
  4. Shape the potato-salmon mixture into balls that fit in the palm of your hand, then flatten them until they are between ½ and ¾ inch thick. Leave the cakes to firm up in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. To make the spread: Mash the avocado with the shallot, lemon juice, and some olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Set the spread aside.
  6. To make the chimichurri: Purée all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add extra olive oil if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.
  7. Heat a splash of sunflower oil in a thick-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Dust the salmon cakes with a bit of flour and fry them for 3 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Carefully flip them over with a spatula and fry on the other side for 3 more minutes. The cakes should be nice and hot inside.
  9. Lift them out of the pan with a slotted turner and onto paper towels. You can also keep them warm in the oven until all portions are cooked, if you prefer. Serve the salmon cakes with the avocado spread, chimichurri, and lime.
Recipe from The Tinned Fish Cookbook: Easy-To-Make Meals From Ocean to Plate—Sustainably Canned, 100% Delicious © Bart van Olphen 2019, 2020. Translation © The Experiment, 2020. Reprinted by permission of The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.
Eliza Sullivan author page.
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine,, and SUITCASE magazine.