DJ Foodielow-carb, low carb, sugar free, sugar-free, gluten-free, gluten free, primal, paleo

Salmon Patties

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 15 mins | Total: 30 min | Servings:4


Salmon Patties
Salmon Patties
Salmon Patties
I grew up on salmon patties. They were DEFINITELY a favorite of mine, growing up. If I had to hazard a guess, I would imagine that the patties I was raised on came from canned salmon, breadcrumbs and maybe mayonnaise, swirled in a pan, patted into pucks and then fried in some kind of vegetable oil. Whatever they were, they were loved, appreciated and then dipped into seemingly bottomless puddles of ketchup. Mmmmmm ....

These salmon patties are made with fresh salmon and omit the breadcrumbs. However, because I know that breadcrumbs are such a big part of my fondness for these flat, fishy discs, I wanted to emulate that bulk and texture. Enter the pork rind dust!

In short, pork rinds are fried and puffed pig skins, which are usually blasted with some kind of salty flavor dust. You'll usually find them in most grocery stores in the snacky section, with all the other stuff you're pretending isn't there. Just look for the pork rinds. They're delicious! Sort of the low-carbers' fauxtato chip! If you take these same packaged pork rinds and throw them in a food processor and pulse it a few times, you'll get something that very closely approximates bread crumbs!

In this particular recipe, we're going to take about half of the salmon and throw it in the food processor with an egg, to make a paste. Then, we're going to fold that mixture into about half of the rind crumbs, some mayo, the rest of the chopped salmon (so you know it's fresh!) and spices. Then, we're going to form patties, dredge them in the rest of the rind crumbs and fry 'em up!

It's like being 11, all over again!

Note: A 4-oz bag of rinds will yield about 1-cup of "rind crumbs".

. .
IngredientsCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
1 cup (112g)  pork rind crumbs64036640000
1 1/2 lbs (681g)  fresh salmon1273.4781.72136.20000
1 large (50g)  egg7256.5.5000.5
1/4 cup (56.68g)  mayonnaise (recipe)375.2841.721.2.38.0200.36
1/4 cup (28.4g)  real bacon bits1006120000
2 each (6g)  garlic cloves, minced8002002
1 tsp (2g)  paprika6.74.3.351.31.8600.45
1/2 tsp (1g)  cayenne pepper, ground2.
2 tsp (2g)  fresh thyme, chopped2.
2 tbsp (30.5g)  lemon juice, freshly squeezed7.630.132.63.1302.5
1/2 cup (108g)  oil for frying (a bacon fat/butter combo would be perfect!)95510800000
Totals (of 4 Servings):3442.98278.95g220.67g7.8g1.46g0g6.34g
Per Serving:860.7569.74g55.17g1.95g0.37g0g1.59g *


  1. If you haven't made your rind crumbs, use a 4-oz bag of pork rinds and place them in a food processor to make crumbs. They don't need to be super fine and a few chunks are ok. TOO fine and they become almost like a greasy paste and they lose their absorption powers. 1 bag should make about 1 cup of crumbs. Place half the crumbs in a pie tin, or a wide mouthed bowl (you will dredge the patties in this mixture at a later step). Place the other half in a mixing bowl.
  2. Cut your salmon in half. Place about half of your salmon in the food processor with the egg. Puree until it is a paste. Add the paste to the mixing bowl, with the rind crumbs.
  3. Cut your other half of the salmon into 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes. Add these cubes to the mixing bowl.
  4. Add your mayonnaise, bacon bits, garlic, thyme, paprika, cayenne and lemon juice to the bowl. Mix well.
  5. Form about 8 even patties from the mixture.
  6. Dredge each pattie in the remaining rind crumb mixture. Not a lot will stick, but it's enough to give a fine and consistent appearance to the final patties. If you want more to stick for a thicker crust, you can optionally dip each pattie into an egg wash mixture (1 egg to 2 tbsp water, whisked) and then into more rind crumbs.
  7. In a large sauté pan or a skillet, heat up your oil. Because we're using pork rinds and a little bacon, using lard or bacon fat seems like a nice way to go. I also like the taste of butter and feel that would make a nice flavor as well. Just don't burn the butter. If you do use butter, use a blend with another fat and start with the other fat. When the fat begins to ripple in the pan, add your patties and bits of fresh butter to the oil, all at the same time. This will help keep the butter from burning and will give a nice buttery flavor to the cakes.
  8. Cook the patties until golden brown on one side, then flip them over and finish cooking. When they are cooked through, place them on a paper towel in a warm place. Serve when they're all cooked and ready! Ketchup is highly recommended!

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition ...


Hi Kevin, sorry for the delay. I moved. Yep! It's funny, in that it had never really occured to me what was going on, with this recipe. I agree with you on the crab cakes. If someone took some amazing, fresh sweet crab and blended it with a bunch of strong tasting bulk, I'd really question their thought process. You are 100% correct! I'd just never really seen this from the outside ... seeking only to duplicate a flavor I loved, without ever really thinking through the quality of the fish. Thank you for pointing it out to me!

 DJ  11/24/2014


Hi DJ, your quest to recreate a childhood favorite is completely understandable. I'm from Maryland and crab cakes are a favorite here. But I've always felt that the best crab cakes minimize the ingredients so as not to overwhelm the taste of the crab. Regardless, we have enjoyed many of your low-carb recipes and hope to see more as we continue our low-carb diet.

 Kevin  11/5/2014


Hi Kevin, I'll take a bad review any day, as long as it's sincere and honest ... and yours was. Thank you! Yes, I COMPLETELY understand where you're coming from. The reality is, I grew up on salmon patties, where the salmon was in a can and the breading was all crushed crackers and bread crumbs. As an adult, knowing what all is involved in the canning process and what it does to meat and vegetables ... I really would rather just eat fresh. However, some of the time, I like to look back at my childhood for some of those comforting favorites. The aim was to approximate that taste by ... in a sense ... ruining perfectly good salmon, to get that greasy bready peppery sensation I loved as a kid. I guess you could say ... it's personal and did a wonderful job at producing what I was aiming for.<br /><br />Ultimately, if you've got a bunch of good salmon, anything you do to it is just going to dilute and minimize its greatness. I LOVE some good salmon with just a little salt and a twinge of pepper. That's all I really need. This recipe is a mutation, based on childhood memories ... Does this make sense?

 DJ  10/13/2014


We tried these and much to our disappointment, we felt like we had wasted some really good salmon. Between the pork rind breading, bacon bits, and bacon grease, the taste of the salmon was long gone. They tasted like bacon. The recipe writer must have tried too hard to make them tasty. Sorry for the less than positive review, but we couldn't figure out why so many strong tasting ingredients were used unless they were trying to bury the salmon taste. If that were the case, then why not just use canned salmon and save the $20 we paid for the salmon.

 Kevin  10/11/2014


Hi Cindy, if you’re alarmed by “heat”, then … at least for this recipe, just omit the cayenne. It’s absolutely not required. However … this “tends” to be the deal. A lot of people claim that low-carb is boring, and that it’s super restrictive, flavorless, blah blah blah. I think as a result and as a bit of a backlash, the recipe developers tend to develop recipes which are neither bland, nor boring. They’re intended to be bold, interesting and flavorful, but without a lot of carbs. Spices, especially chilies with heat and things like mustard seed, vinegar, etc. these strong flavors all pack a punch, but without bringing a lot of carbs to the table. Thankfully, there are bound to be thousands and thousands and thousands of recipes out there. Not all of them are spicy … and many that are … the spices aren’t required (as in the case of this particular recipe). I could be wrong about my “take”, but … I know that in my personal case … it sounds about right. I hope this helps!

 DJ  7/24/2014


Hi Judy, I’m not going to cringe! I was raised on canned salmon … I’m sure of it! These particular patties are based on raw salmon, pureed with some egg. It’ll form a bit of an emulsion, which helps to retain moisture and a nice texture. Unfortunately, this won’t work with canned salmon (which is cooked). It’s not that I have an issue with the canned … it’s just not how this particular recipe was developed. It will probably still somewhat work and hold together, but my concern is that it’ll be a bit dry and gritty. The taste will still be nice … and add enough sugar-free ketchup … and I’m sure it’ll be quite tasty! :D

 DJ  7/24/2014


since becoming diatetic a couple months ago.....I have found so many receipes that use spicy or hot seasoning....why is that? Is there not other seasonings that would add flavor without burning people's mouths? Even in the realm of normal food....what is with the chipotle or hot foods everyone seems to be eating????? I simply cannot do spicy or hot....what are the alternatives?

 Cindy  7/24/2014


I know you're gonna cringe, but would canned salmon work? I was raised on patties made with canned, but I like your recipe. Ahhhh I'm gonna try it anyway LOL

 Judy  7/24/2014


Hi Jomana. I saw a recipe for breadcrumbs on Jennifer Eloff's website. I believe she toasted and dried out almond flour and used that. It makes sense, too! The breadcrumbs help bind and absorb moisture. If you dried out a nut flour, that should do the trick, as well! I hope this helps! :)

 DJ  7/3/2014


I always loved Salmon patties but I also love breadcrumbs! in everything so I was wondering how can make gluten free breadcrumbs :) I don't eat pork and never used chai seeds just wondering any ideas?

 Jomana  6/27/2014


---Reply posted by Lulu on 6/4/2015
Use corn flake crumbs.

Hi Linda, I don't know. Technically, anything can be sprayed with Pam and baked. I've never tried anything like that, but ... my guess is that it would work.

 DJ  5/6/2014


Can these be sprayed with Pam and baked?

 Linda  5/4/2014


Hi Irene, in the end, you can't really taste the pork rinds. Ideally, you need something absorbent. Maybe try a touch of chia, instead? This would probably work nicely! Just grind about 1/4 cup of ground chia seeds and add that. I think that would hold it together quite nicely!

 DJ  1/28/2014


Really love the sound of this recipe, Just one problem, I hate pork rinds, has anyone ever made walnuts into breadcrumbs? would this work??? I know it would increase the carbs by quite a lot, but I love them x

 Irene  1/25/2014


Hi Jen, EXCELLENT question! I wish I knew how to answer it! I'm personally a big believer in "undercooked" salmon. So, provided each side has spent a good 5 minutes slowly "browning", you should be ok! My stance is, raw salmon is delicious. We're using fresh salmon, so undercooking it is much better than OVER cooking it. That said, a lot of it comes down to practice. A thicker patty will cook slower than a thin one (and will require a bit more time). Breaking it open is obviously one way to go. Because of the other ingredients, POKING it would be dodgy business. For the most part, I suggest a thicker patty, about an inch thick, then cook over medium-low heat on each side for 5 to 6 minutes. Let it relax for another few minutes after pulling from the pan ... then eat! Hopefully, it's about a medium, with a faint bit of "rare" in the center, but super moist and tasty! I hope this helps!

 DJ  8/19/2013


This sounds great. I appreciate the hint about when to add the butter. I usually end up with browned butter and I just saw this same hint on Masterchef so it is great to see someone else say the same thing. My ? Is this: how do I know if the patties are "cooked through"? Do you know by feel or do you bust one open and judge by look. Whenever I cook salmon it is dry, so I am obviously overcooking it.

 Jen Houck  8/18/2013