Smokin’ Hot Salmon Cakes

Last week, my son, Andrew, smoked a salmon that was absolutely outstanding, and then made salmon cakes with the leftovers, which were also incredibly delicious! He told me his recipe comes from Natasha’s Kitchen, and I was inspired to make them myself. But as you are getting to know me, and my friends and family would attest, if the recipe isn’t my very own, I always have to tweak it to make it my own. It’s just a thing I do!

I don’t know how it started, and of course, in the analytical part of my mind, I am trying to figure out why I just can’t accept something as it is. I’m always trying to improve it or make it better. I don’t know about you, but I’ll look around my house, and think about painting something, buying a new piece of artwork, and rearranging furniture around, always seeing beyond what’s there! That can be a good thing in many cases, but then it could also prevent me from being in the moment and enjoying what’s in front of me. I have to remind myself to balance that need to make things better and just enjoy what is in front of me. When do you accept that what’s in front of you is good enough? Is it because I truly enjoy the creativity in making things better, or because I’m never satisfied? Hmmm…some food for thought I guess!

So back to the Smokin Hot Salmon Cakes……When Andrew did his salmon, he did it in his Traeger and smoked it to perfection. 7 hours, But I don’t have a smoker. I almost did, inheriting it from my Uncle, but my husband, John, is on a kick to get rid of things. Clean everything out. We have too much stuff. (That’s another story for another day.) Since I didn’t have a smoker, I had to improvise. By adding spice heat and a little smoke flavor, I think I did a pretty good job imitating Andrew’s smoked salmon!

And of course, you have to make your own tarter sauce. I agree wholeheartedly with Natasha on that one! It really is just mayonnaise and relish (sweet for me), and then have some fun with it! Add a little lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, chipotle chili pepper spice, smoked paprika, and you’ve got a mini masterpiece!

For my sides, I cooked plain rice and julienned red and green pepper, and when I plated it, I just drizzled some of my blended oil seasoning over it, and garnished with fresh dill from the garden. (I had planted dill years ago in the garden, and boy does that spread like a wildfire! So I ripped it all out, but guess what? It started sprouting up again!) I forgot how much I do like fresh dill!

I hope you give these Smokin’ Salmon Cakes a try as is, or play around with some of the ingredients to make it your own! Whether you enjoy it as is, or look beyond it, make it your own! Enjoy!

Until next time, 

Let’s Get Cookin’


Smokin' Hot Salmon Cake

If you've got a smoker and can smoke a salmon filet, you'll love making Salmon Crab Cakes with it! The cakes have such a smoky flavor, and they're so moist and delicious, you won't go back to using crab! IF you don't have a smoker, check out what spices I use to make it taste smoky in a cast iron pan!
Prep Time5 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dijon mustard, egg, mayonnaise, onion powder, panko, red bell pepper, red chili pepper, salmon, salmon cakes, smoked paprika, smoked salmon, tarter sauce
Servings: 4 people


  • Large Cast Iron Pan or Frying Plan
  • Small and medium size mixing bowls


Pan Fried Smoked Salmon

  • 1 lb salmon (preferably 4, 4oz filets) You can get a large filet and just cut it into 4 pieces.
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili pepper spice I like McCormick brand
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika I like McCormick brand
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke Colgin brand (comes in s small bottle)
  • cup avocado oil grapeseed, olive or canola can be substituted

Smokin' Hot Salmon Cakes

  • 1 lb cooked salmon (smoked in a smoker or pan fried according to the instructions) See recipe for the Pan Fried Salmon if you don't have a smoker)
  • 2 TBLSP mayonnaise
  • 1 TBLSP Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup red pepper (diced)
  • ¼ cup onion (diced)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ cups panko
  • 1 TBLSP parsley (chopped)
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • cup avocado oil grapeseed, olive or canola oil can be substituted

Madeline's Smokin' Hot Tarter Sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 TBLSP sweet relish
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chili pepper spice
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp fresh lemon juice


Pan Fried Smoked Salmon

  • Cut salmon in 4 even pieces.
  • Drizzle oil in cast iron or frying pan so that it covers the bottom of the pan.
  • Turn burner on medium. .
  • While the pan is heating up, sprinkle the salmon with the chipotle chili pepper and smoked paprika spices.
  • Add the liquid smoke to the pan.
  • When the oil begins to slightly bubble, place the 4 filets in the pan.
  • Let cook for about 8 - 10 minutes until the salmon turns light pink and flakes with a fork. About halfway through cooking, you can cover it lightly with a lid or tent with foil.
  • Remove from heat once cooked, and let rest.
  • Set frying pan aside to use for the salmon cakes.

Smokin' Hot Salmon Cakes

  • Place diced pepper and onion in a small microwave safe bowl,
  • Microwave on high for 45 - 60 seconds, until pepper and onion is slightly softened.
  • Place pepper and onion in a medium size mixing bowl.
  • Take a fork and break apart the salmon filets into rough flakes, discarding the skin from the bottom of the filets.
  • Add salmon to bowl of pepper and onion, along with the remaining ingredients.
  • Gently blend all ingredients until the salmon mixture is sticking together.
  • Divide into 4 parts, gently forming each part into a ball, then flattening out to form patties.
  • Drizzle oil into bottom of frying pan and swirl around to cover the bottom with oil.
  • Turn burner on medium.
  • When oil begins to form tiny bubbles, place patties into the pan. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, making sure to watch the burner temperature so that the salmon cakes do not burn.
  • Remove salmon cakes and place on a paper-towel lined plate.
  • Serve with tarter sauce and a starch and vegetable, such as rice and sautéed peppers.
  • Sprinkle with dill or parsley to garnish.

Tarter Sauce

  • Blend all ingredients into a small mixing bowl.
  • Chill until ready to serve.



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