Salmon Fish Cakes

Getting kids to eat Salmon is tricky. Either they love it or can’t stand the taste of it. Hmmmm.. isn’t that with everything with kids..? But kids surprise you as we so often tend to underestimate their palette that we stick to the tried and true. If I had accepted my 15 month olds initial rejection 5 months ago of spitting the fish out and throwing it on the floor no matter how many times it was served, today he would not be a fish loving baby toddler (sigh – don’t they grow up so fast?) . Today he loves eating smoked salmon (I am surprised by this!) and these fish cakes.

I love these fish cakes for the following reasons:

• They are perfect for school lunches, afternoon snacks.
• They are finger sized so it is easy for the little fingers to pick up.
• Kids love dips and love dipping food in them, so you can serve these with different dips (yogurt dip, ketchup, mango chutney, coriander-mint chutney etc) and watch them devour these fish cakes.
• They make great appetizers. We had a family over for lunch recently and I had made these as appetizers, I think the adults ate 80% of these cakes as they were just absolutely yummy.
• Salmon is very high in Omega 3 and is great for brain development for kids. Fish not your thing – check out this post on other non fish options for omega 3 for children.

Here’s how we make them in our home (makes about 20-25 fish cakes):

1 lb. salmon

3 tbsp vegetable oil

A small bunch of Cilantro (approximately 20 stems and leaves)

2 medium sized shallots (No shallots? use 2 medium sized onions)

1 tsp garam masala (see below for other options if you don’t have garam masala)

½ tsp Cinnamon powder

½ tsp cumin powder

Juice of ½ lime

½ tsp. Salt

1 egg

Breadcrumbs of 2 slices. I used 1 wheat and 1 white but use whatever works in your household.


1)      Dice the shallots, chop the cilantro leaves – both stems and leaves.

2)      Beat the egg and place aside

3)      Boil the fish in pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes (time will vary depending on the thickness and size of the fillet) until the fish is opaque. Remove the pot and remove the fish flakes.

4)      In a frying pan on medium heat add 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil and add the shallots and fry till they are translucent.

5)      Add the garam masala, cinnamon powder and salt to the onion mixture and sauté for 30 seconds till the flavors are released.

6)      Remove from the onion spice mixture from pan and add it to the salmon flakes.

7)      Add the cilantro leaves, lime juice and mix. Adjust spices as needed.

8)      Add the breadcrumbs and egg to the mixture. Use as much as you need to bind the mixture together.

9)      Make small patties.

10)   Heat a frying pan on medium heat and add the remaining oil. Add the cakes and fry on low heat for 2 minutes for each side till the sides turn brown. Remove from pan and serve with the dips.

Recipe Variations:

1)      Garam Masala – You can now find Garam Masala in most major grocery stores across the US, but if you don’t have access to it you can use ½ tsp clove powder and ½ tsp black pepper powder.

2)      If you want to make these fish cakes with a kick add 1-2 green chilies cut into small pieces to the fish mixture.


  1. Hi Rashmi: These look incredibly yummy! I have one kid who loves fish and one kid who won’t touch it – I wonder if these will tempt him to give it a try. :)
    Loved meeting you this weekend – hope we get a chance to reconnect soon!

  2. Rashmi says:

    Let me know how your kids like it. I am sure we will reconnect in person soon enough… Happy Mother’s Day in advance btw… cheers.. Rashmi.

  3. I am so excited to try this recipe! I grew up on salmon and am always looking for new ways to prepare my favorite fish. It was great meeting you at Camp Blogaway and I am excited to read more of your posts!

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