Ma-maw’s Salmon Patties ~From Marla


From time to time I send out a call for submissions to email subscribers so that they can share their heritage recipes and stories with us. I sent out one a few months back and got so many wonderful submissions! I can’t wait to share them all with you and I may send out one for holiday recipes soon, too (if time permits)! Today’s Guest Kitchen recipe and story is from Marla and I know you’ll enjoy it!  Thank you so much, Marla, and all who read this for being such a great part of the Southern Plate Family!



Ma-Maw’s Salmon Patties

These salmon patties bring back so many memories to me and are so comforting because my one and only grandmother who I call Ma-maw would make them every time I went to her for advice when I was a teenager. It was quick and easy & she’d take my mind off of what was bothering me. She would always cheer me up to say the least. Sometimes she would make some cornbread along with them in which we would put in a tall glass & pour cold milk all over it. It was scrumptious,especially on a hot summer day!

Ma-maw’s Salmon Patties
  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can canned salmon
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 egg
  1. Drain but reserve the liquid from 1 can (14.75 ounce) of salmon.
  2. Mix egg, chopped green onion, lemon juice, and cracker crumbs together with the salmon. I like them without any salt and pepper but you may like to add a dash or to according to your preference.
  3. Make into 12 small thin patties (or 6 larger ones if you prefer). If mixture is too dry to form into patties, just add the reserved liquid left over from the can.
  4. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and place patties inside once the oil is heated. Brown each side, flipping gently. Drain on paper towels and serve.

“You’ve got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.”

– Steven D. Woodhull

Submitted by Jenny (thank you Jenny!). Submit your quote by clicking here. 


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  1. Aunt Charley says

    What a great memory from my childhood. Need to make these Salmon Patties very soon!

    I brought “Payday Candy” to work today and I’m everyone’s BFF. Thanks, Christy, for the recipe. Remembered it from last year.

  2. Sue Horne says

    Thank you for sharing this – reminds me so much of my Daddy’s favorite “Friday night”…we had them just about every Friday night. I’m going to add this one to my cookbook…simple and easy. I can almost smell them cooking!

    • Nancy Luke says

      When I was little, mama made these almost every Thursday. I thought it was such a treat. Years later, I learned that this was because grocery money had probably run out on the day before payday and canned salmon (stocked up “on sale”) was CHEAP!

  3. Mama Jane says

    somehow or another i think mama always made potato patties when she made salmon patties. Maybe on the monday after making Sunday roast and mashed taters, so she’d have something to do with the leftover mashed taters? Anyway, that’s a great childhood memory. We would also have pinto beans along with, and enough ketchup to float a battleship. We use a little flour and meal for the binding agents. Thanks for the reminder of good times!

  4. Judy Jackson says

    What memories. we had these with country gravy. My grams put gravy on everything. She made tuna patties with gravy to only added a jar of pimentos to the gravy. she said it brightened up dreary winter days.

  5. Angie says

    I love salmon patties. My mom made them alot for us. If they were served during the week, they were salmon pattie’s, and served with pinto beans, cornbread & fried potatoes. If they were served on Sunday, they were salmon croquettes, and served with navy beans, sliced tomatoes & potato salad. If we ever had any leftovers, they were great as a sandwich w/tomatoes & mayonnaise. Oh the good old days, when we didn’t know we didn’t have any money. Home cooking was wonderful, you never knew you didn’t have as much as others. Moms would take 3 ingredients, and put on a spread to feed 15.

  6. Belle Russell says

    I had a recipe for salmon patties, years ago, that I lost, it had baking soda added to it, made em bubble, when mixed up, they were really good, does anyone have a recipe like that?

    • Reidith Rediger says

      I have used the same recipe for almost 40 yrs. It was originally on the back of a Crisco shortening can. When first married I tried this and have ‘stuck’ with this recipe ever since. The baking pwdr gives the patties an extra ‘crunch’.
      1 16 oz canned salmon 1/3 c. minced onion
      1 egg 1 1/2 tsp baking pwdr
      1/2 c. flour 2 TBL. of drained salmon juice
      Drain salmon. Set aside 2 TBL juice. Mix salmon, egg and onion till sticky. Stir in flour. Add baking pwdr to salmon juice and stir into salmon mixture.
      Don’t mix baking pwdr and juice and add until you are ready to start cooking the patties, otherwise it will become flat. Form into patties and fry.

    • Mary says

      Hi Belle. I think you want a recipe with baking powder — which will cause the bubbles. Baking soda will just overwhelm you with saltines and won’t bubble. Those bubbles help the patties cook up crisp. Try the recipe below this post.

    • Betty K. says

      1 can salmon; drain but keep 2 TBS liquid in a cup. Add 1 TSP baking powder (not soda) to cup.
      In a bowl, add salmon, 1 egg, 2 TBS finely chopped onion & 1/4 C. of all purpose flour. Add salt & pepper to taste. Stir to mix well. Add liquid and mix again.
      Use 1/4 cup for large thick patties or less for thinner patties. Fr in oil over medium heat until browned. Enjoy.

      • carolyn sullivan says

        i make them like my mama. we use approx 1/3 self rising flour and an egg per each can of salmon. i put salt, pepper ( or a little lemon pepper) in them. the sr flour gives them a rise.

    • Von Jenkins says

      That’s how we like em too! Made them for breakfast this morning. I put cornmeal & a little flour in mine, along with just a bit of buttermilk and a egg. The cornmeal gives them a nice crunch!

  7. Kristy says

    I love salmon patties, my momma made the best! She used corn meal instead of cracker crumbs and vegetable oil instead of olive oil. I make them the same way my momma did and hopefully my daughter will do the same. It’s always been a favorite recipe at my house.

  8. says

    Oooh – my daddy’s favorite meal. My grandmother always made these for me and daddy whenever she could, and this recipe is very, very close to hers. We always had these with fried taters with onions, cornbread and black-eyed peas. Was also what we had/have on New Year’s Day, every year. Thanks for the reminder and a great idea for supper too!


  9. Julia says

    I love fried salmon patties. I add about a fourth cup of self rising meal to mine and fry away! The other day I didn’t have meal and added flour. Just as good!
    Always try to have small green peas, creamed potatoes and biscuits with mine. My husband love it!

  10. Deborah Carter says

    Sadly, I am the only one at my house that likes salmon patties. I still make them once in a while just for me though. Like a lot of others, I remember having them with pinto beans and mashed potatoes.

  11. says

    We had them too growing up. In fact I still make them today for my 22 yr old son. My husband doesn’t like fish, so whenever he is traveling, we usually get together and have salmon patties. The only difference in mine is that I flour mine like my mother did.

  12. Tamela in central Florida says

    Love, love, love salmon patties!! I always take the spinal bones out when I drain them. Growing up my daddy always loved to leave ‘em in for the crunch but I never could stomach that so they were definitely eliminated from mine when I moved out of the house. We always have macaroni and cheese with ours.

  13. Barbara says

    Dear Christy,
    Love your emails and I read them almost every day, but sometimes I am too busy to even turn on my computer, but I never delete them. So don’t you dare take me off your email list! Thanks! And these patties are great, Marla! Thanks for posting the recipe. My mom also made these for dinner often when I was a kid. I think she did them just like this recipe says. I’m going to make them real soon.

    • says

      No worries! If you want to receive emails I really really want you to have them. My email list is extensive and over time a lot of accounts have become inactive. Keeping those stored costs a good bit each month so I’m just working on pruning those out. As long as you open an email every now and then my server keeps you as active :)

  14. Melissa says

    My Mama made salmon patties similar to this and she also made mackeral patties. I think she might have dredged hers in flour before frying them. They were so good! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  15. says

    We love salmon patties. I take all bones and skin from them. I leave the liquid in them and add egg, a little salt and pepper and flour and cook them crisp in olive oil. I usually serve with grits pork & beans and biscuits. Salmon biscuits the next day are great.

  16. Tina says

    Has everyone tried the salmon in a pouch? I think it tastes even better than canned, and there’s no searching for bones!! Makes a quick and easy recipe even quicker, and easier… it’s all good.

  17. Wendy says

    My mama made Salmon patties all the time when I was growing up – one of my favorites. I haven’t had them in years, but that will soon be changing thanks to this recipe. It’s very similar to my mama’s. So excited!! Can’t wait to make them. Thanks Christy (and Marla)!

  18. Lynn says

    My mother has been gone 20 years and I still miss her every day , especially when I have a problem. She often made salmon patties and I had totally forgotten that. Thanks for the recipe and the memory trip!

  19. grammyclk says

    My mother is also gone now 14 years and I also miss her daily. She made salmon patties like this recipe but used cornmeal. I haven’t made them in a long time but I will now very soon. Thanks for the reminder.

  20. Von Jenkins says

    When I have family come for a visit, they aways request me to make salmon patties, buttermilk biscuits, & gravy for breakfast. Had it for breakfast this morning in fact! Country cookin at it’s finest!

  21. Fran says

    YUM! I love salmon patties, which Mom made often as we were growing up. Oddly enough, she always left those soft bones in them (for extra calcium?). I ate them then but take them out now. Thanks for reminding me of this blast from my childhood! =^..^=

  22. Nina Stinnett says

    Salmon patties have been a favorite “quickie” for my family. I love them with cream corn and buttered-chunk potatoes. You can see this menu could be put together quickly and ready in minutes on a busy day!

  23. Granny M says

    my husband told me he had never eaten “fried salmon” until we married, he grew up in Illinois so they must not have canned salmon up that way…why else would you not fix such a delicious thing! I add a cup of chopped celery and pinch of garlic powder to mine because i love the extra aromas in the kitchen. served with mashed taters, sliced maters and fresh steamed squash. oh my now i am hungry!

  24. says

    Hi Christy, I’ve taught my daughters to make these for their families and they’re still a favorite. Please allow me to post on the Facebook page, for some reason I’m not allowed to leave replies anymore. Thanks.

  25. Debra Dian Turner says

    I was looking for something different to make for some clients of mine that I cook for. I don’t know why I did not think of this earlier, but I made them and what a huge hit! I made tartar sauce(miracle whip, diced onions, relish) to go along with, and served with ranch style beans and a salad….got rave reviews and a request to make these every other week! Thanks bunches!!!

  26. Jessi says

    My mother made these when I was a kid too, and sometimes used mackerel instead of salmon, if that was what was on sale. Once my younger brother asked what was for supper, and mom answered, “croquettes”. He was only about 4 at the time, and his expression was truly horrified!!! He exclaimed “I don’t want to eat old cats!!!” So of course to this day, that’s what we call them. Old cats with plenty of ketchup and some mashed potatoes or mac and cheese :)

  27. Mary Masters says

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! My little neighbor gives me cans of salmon (given to her by her church) and I had never made salmon patties…so I made them from your recipe and gave her some and she loved them as well as we did. She still gives me all the salmon she recieves BUT when I make them again I have to make her one too. LOL. Thanks for the recipe..yummy.

  28. Mary Ann Hardesty says

    Salmon was a staple at our house growing up. Always had mashed potatoes with ours. Mom always rolled hers in corn meal before frying (in lard). What can I say…we were from the country! I use oil to fry, and I take out the bones and skin. I’ve never had a recipe to follow but I’m trying this one soon. My son is 31 and loved his Mamaw’s salmon!

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