Fresh Salmon Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing Recipe

A light and summery meal.

Fresh Salmon Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 serves

The salmon croquettes made from canned salmon that you loved as a child are all grown up now. These Salmon Cakes have a wonderful texture; the crispy exterior gives way to a firm and tender interior. For cakes with the best texture, chop the fish by hand—a food processor will quickly turn the salmon into a paste. We prefer salmon from the tail of the fish, which is thinner than most fillets and also contains a little more fat for extra flavor. The buttermilk dressing comes together quickly, but can also be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator. Tasty drizzled over a grilled chicken or a roast beef sandwich, this dressing is the ideal accompaniment to salmon cakes and a fresh green salad. These Fresh Salmon Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing are perfect for a healthy lunch or a light dinner.


  • 1 ¼ pounds skinless salmon fillet

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 7 tablespoons mayonnaise, divided

  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 tablespoon whole buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 head butter lettuce, torn

  • ½ cup sugar snap peas, thinly sliced

  • ½ cup thinly sliced radishes


  1. Finely chop salmon on a cutting board; place in a medium bowl. Add chives, salt, pepper, and 4 tablespoons of the mayonnaise; stir to combine. Shape mixture into 8 (2 ½-inch-wide) patties. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Place each patty in breadcrumbs; press to coat all sides.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add patties to skillet; cook until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 130°F, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet.

  3. Whisk together parsley, buttermilk, soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, and remaining 3 tablespoons mayonnaise in a small bowl.

  4. Divide lettuce, snap peas, and radishes evenly among 4 plates. Top each with 2 salmon cakes; drizzle with dressing.

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