Before I started eating low-carb, salmon was a minor part of my diet. If I ate salmon at all, it was in the form of a grilled or broiled salmon steak, usually in a restaurant. I never purchased or prepared canned salmon. But that has changed. Now I look for sales on canned salmon, and try to always have a few cans in the pantry.
Canned salmon is usually wild-caught fish, which has a better reputation for purity than farm-raised fish. It’s typically sold in 14.75 ounce cans, each of which provide 630 calories, 84 grams of protein, and significant calcium and Omega-3 fat. Salmon is something of a wonder food. Even the American Heart Association approves of it.
Looking for low-carb ways to cook canned salmon, I came across many recipes for salmon patties, most of which combined the salmon with one or more eggs, herbs, and some sort of filler — bread crumbs, rolled oats, or even crushed saltines or pork rinds. The filler often adds carbs, though, so I tried it without any filler, and it seemed to work just fine. Here is my recipe for No-filler Salmon Patties. It makes four patties. They taste great and can be made in 15 minutes.
- 1 can (14.75 oz) pink salmon (any brand)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
- 2 tbs olive oil (or butter or coconut oil)
- Open and partly drain the salmon. (It’s OK to leave in some of the water.)
- Place salmon in a mixing bowl, and mash with a fork. (Work in the skin and fine soft bones; that’s where much of the nutrition comes from!)
- Start olive oil heating in a no-stick pan.
- Add whole egg and garlic powder to the salmon, and mix those in.
- Form four salmon patties of roughly equal size.
- Pan fry patties about 3 minutes on a side over medium-high flame. (You want the patties nicely browned on both sides, and heated through.)
Each patty has 240 calories, 1.5 grams of net carbs, and 22.5 grams of protein.
Obviously, there are many ways to vary the recipe. I have tried it with some lemon juice and Tabasco mixed in, and also with diced onions (though the onions add some carbs and also tended to reduce patty-cohesion). The oil is an important way to vary the flavor. I originally cooked the patties in olive oil, but have come to prefer butter or coconut oil. (See “No-filler salmon patties in coconut oil.”)
Since I am the only one in the house who eats fish, I usually eat one or two of the patties and then wrap the others individually in aluminum foil (marking them so that no one has a rude surprise, thinking it is a saved hamburger). The salmon patties reheat well in the microwave.