3 August 2011

Salmon rissoles and salad

The way food is prepared now is changing.  It's more styled and has to look great whereas when I was growing up, food was judged more on taste and smell. I still cook the way I always have and if you ever see a tower of food or a collection of foam on a plate I've prepared, you can hit me on the head with a mallet. I am also game enough to re-introduce the salmon rissole.

Salmon rissoles or fish cakes are a cheap and healthy old fashioned staple that deserve another 15 minutes of fame. If you've never had one before, a salmon rissole is a mix of potato cake and fish cake, made with tinned pink salmon, a common stockpile favourite.  They are easy to make, will get you through a mid-week meal nicely and can be premade, then cooked quickly when you get home in the same amount of time it takes to make a salad. In Australia, they would cost less than $6 to make. This recipe could also be made using tinned tuna or any pre-cooked fish.

RECIPE - will make 6 rissoles
  • about 2 cups of mashed potato
  • 1 tin pink salmon 420 grams
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • about ¼ cup parsley or chives
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil for cooking
Combine the mashed potato with the salmon, onion, herbs, salt, pepper and egg. Mix together thoroughly so the salmon is broken up and combined with the potato. You can crush and eat the bones of tinned salmon - it is an excellent source of calcium. Form into little round cakes and coat with breadcrumbs. Cover, and let them sit in the fridge for an hour to firm up. If they fall apart when you cook them, add ½ cup of breadcrumbs to the mix. That will glue them together.

Heat oil in a frying pan and cook the rissoles on a low-medium heat. They should cook for about 10 - 15 minutes to make sure the onions are cooked and when they're golden brown, they're ready.  Serve with a fresh garden salad.

This will do Hanno and I for one meal and we have two rissoles leftover that we eat for lunch the following day.

Meanwhile, out in the backyard, Hanno was cleaning the chook house. This snake should be in the middle of its winter hibernation but there it was, wide awake behind the nesting boxes. Hanno took it down to the creek, but I have no doubt it will be back. Luckily it's a juvenile and not able to eat the chooks ... yet.



  1. Being a snakeless Brit, I would see one sight of a snake and emigrate! To Ireland as they have no snakes there! just so scary!

  2. that is one BIG snake for a juvenile.

    AM of the bread

  3. We had salmon patties for dinner last night! I use pretty much the same recipe except I've never put mashed potatoes in mine. I'll have to try that. If you ever find yourself out of eggs you can use mayonnaise instead. Just enough to moisten and hold the patty together. I serve mine with canned corn and grits. I always have those items on my pantry shelf so this is my go to meal when I've forgotten to defrost something or I'm in a hurry.

  4. These salmon cakes look yummy. I've made salmon corquettes and tuna croquettes, and we loved those. I will try these at some point, I'm sure. Letting them sit in the fridge to firm up is new to me, I might try that, as my cakes tend to break up when flipping.


  5. What a coincidence! Salmon cakes are on my dinner menu tonight. My family loves to eat these with a nice chopped salad and some homemade bread. I like to combine the whole thing into a sort of Salmon Cake burger.

  6. Ack on the snake! I have yet to find one in the chicken tractors, but my husband and one of the dogs did kill an extremely large rat snake. He didn't want to but he was already getting into their houses. :(

    I love salmon cakes which is what we called them growing up. Alas, my dear husband dislikes them intensely! So my sister and I make them from time to time for ourselves! :)

  7. Those salmon patties look AMAZING! And there's actually nothing that I'm allergic to in the recipe. You have no idea what a rarity that is... I generally have to make at least one substitution. I'm gonna try them soon!

    And I must say that I'd much rather deal with mountain lions and bears than snakes! Snakes are in the uber-yikes department as far as I'm concerned!

  8. These look very much like the salmon patties I've made before, Rhonda, though I've never thought to add the potato. Will try that next time. I told my husband the other day I think I could eat salmon every day of the week. Luckily we live in salmon territory!

    Wow, what type of snake is that!? It will actually eat the chooks? Eggs too? He certainly would give me a start if I wasn't expecting to see him!

  9. We had salmon fishcakes for our evening meal here today. As it's very hot I did them with salad and sweet chilli dipping sauce. They make a wonderfully cheap meal and when the weather is cooler we usually have them with mixed veg and a parsley sauce. I love 'em and they're a very economical meal too.

  10. so pleased to see that you guys don't react with fear when it comes to the non-venomous snakes! They are actually quite fascinating creatures, my daughter had a children's python for 3 years.

    Admittedly though, if it was a king brown or red belly - my thoughts might be slightly different...lol! We suspect we spotted a brown snake under our chook shed at our previous property and I wouldn't let the kids go near the shed for ages!

  11. Your salmon patties look delicious! I've never heard of putting mashed potatoes in them before but will be trying them that way now. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  12. Hi Rhonda,
    I love to read your blog everyday and don't often comment (Young kids - it's hard enough to get time to read sometimes!) but I have to agree with you about the current craze for "plating up" food. There's no doubt that food can be beautifully presented - and that can be part of the joy of eating it - but not at the expense of nutrition, health and conviviality! I could go on for ages about this topic but all I will say is "Long live the Salmon Rissole!" "Viva la casserole!"
    Thanks for all your writing. Can't wait for the book!

  13. Um, that plate of food makes me hungry, it looks just like something my mum would have made us as we were growing up. Mmmm rissoles, the memories. I agree no fluff on a plate. If it tastes good, awesome. No point looking pretty if not satisfying and delicious!

  14. We love salmon patties, I also make a salmon pie, which is basically the same mixture piled into a Pyrex or Corningware pie plate and sprinkled with grated cheese and then put in the oven until the cheese has melted, serve with a salad.

  15. I laughed out *loud* for real as I read your "hit me on the head with a mallet" comment!
    Good, old fashioned, healthy food served with love is still what makes a home. Thank you for the kind reminder.
    I am so glad Hanno is willing to take care of those rather unpleasant jobs for you!

  16. When I was growing up in Tennessee, "salmon croquettes" were what they were called and they were a frequent staple. I loved them then and still do. I introduced my Pacific Northwesterner husband to them and he likes them also. Granted, we can easily get fresh salmon here and I do grill that pretty often; but I do love salmon croquettes! Served with a tossed salad, buttered mashed potatoes and fresh summer vegetables. Oh, and hot cornbread muffins. YUMMY! Wish I were having that tonight...

  17. Our family eats Fish Cakes all the time, my parents used to cook them for me! The kids love them. Present them with a salmon salad or salmon sandwich and they won't eat it in a pink fit, but as a fish cake it's a hit! Anything I crumb and fry goes down extremely well!

  18. Ok-the salmon patties look simple and delicious. I prefer the simple instead of the smashingly beautiful meals. I wouldn't want to ruin the creation.

    I am not a snake lover here in New Mexico USA, but we do not kill the bull snakes. We kill the rattle snakes as we cannot have them near the dogs and the house. But our chickens love snake and if a small one ventures across the barnyard it is an open chase to catch it.

    Of course we have little vegetation so the chickens can see the snakes as they cross no chick land...


  19. I made salmon patties just the other day and was surprised how yummy they were, my daughter who is four actually ate it all, which is an achievement. I will most surely be making them on a regular basis.

  20. Hi Rhonda, I LOVE salmon rissoles too! Anytime I've a glut of potatoes, they're the first thing I make.

    Recently I bought some new-season fresh peas from the farmers markets. After shelling them, I made two different meals, one of which I thought you'd quite like:
    it was fresh pea and fetta fritters with a little dijon in the batter. Goes really nice with some cooked bacon. Another good fritter recipe for peas i(which I only blanch before they go in the batter) is pea and haloumi cheese served with roasted tomatoes. But then, haloumi is quite expensive!

    Have a lovely winter sunny day!

  21. I never thought I would get used to the snakes when we moved to Australia but multiple exposure does help - my first encounter with a snake was inside the house and it was one of the biggest we have ever seen here. Talk about an introduction to snakes. I now breathe a sigh of relief when I see that familiar carpet pattern as we have our fair share of red bellies and browns at this property. I saw a red belly black on the road several weeks ago so I'm guessing it is going to be a good summer for snakes, time to get out our special snake collection bin which we use when relocating the pythons from the chook house. Thank goodness I have a teenage boy still living at home who has become quite skilled at scooping them up. They always come back of course!
    I bought a huge sack of potatoes from the farmer's markets last week and was trying to think of a few meal ideas for using them up. Salmon patties could be on the lunch and dinner menus at our house today.

  22. Hi Rhonda, a couple of questions about your chook house....I'm about to rebuild mine, and am looking at lots to give me some ideas, and what will work best, for me and chooks. Where they are now, the roof is very low, and hard for me to get in to clean, and it's too small for them to shelter in if it's very wet or hot, and have their food and water in too...very unsatisfactory all round.

    That platform....is that where your girl's roost at night, or do you have boxes that go on there for nesting and roosts somewhere else? Would you mind including some pics of the inside of your hen house in one of your posts?

  23. Salmon patties are on our regular list of meals and I've replaced the parsley for coriander sometimes for a bit of variety. Hope your sliding neighbour decides that the native wildlife is less of a hassle to eat than trying to match wits with Hanno if it decides chook is on the menu. Do you know what type it is?

  24. Nanette, you can stand up straight in our chook house. It's built on concrete that we often have half covered with straw - it collects the manure that we then add, with the straw, to the compost heap. There are two little rooms which is good when we have a lot of chooks because they usually divide off into two groups to sleep but now most of them sleep near the nests and Martha, our buff Orpington, sleeps alone in the outer room. (Poor Martha.) Hanno made two roost racks that clip up on the roof when we clean the place out. Maybe I should do a post on our chook house. Anyhow, if you go to these links you can see it.



  25. I've always loved fish cakes since I was a kid and mum or dad would make them. I still cook them from the commonsense cookbook, but like to substitute sweet potato instead of potato to make it more friendly to the old blood sugar levels.

  26. i just looked at that Snake and started shaking!i am so terrified of them!i made Salmon Rissoles last Sunday,just so yummy and economical,i love them !

  27. My fiance will be so happy you've posted this recipe, he loves salmon cakes and I rarely make them... I am going to give your recipe a shot though :)

    Ooh that snake gives me chills!!

  28. I think my family would love those rissoles( I don't eat fish, so they miss out alot of the time,lol) and a great easy recipe to follow. :)
    Jeepers, that is one thing I am not looking forward to when we move, snakes, first thing I am buying is gumboots! I am totally petrified, and would've had the chooks in the house, with the dogs,lol!

  29. YUMMMM.......the patties not the snake!

  30. It's weird that wild snakes freak me out but we do have a ball python for a pet. :)

    My parent's in-law fish for sucker fishes every year and can the de-boned meat. It saves us (and them) SO much money. We make something similar to what you've shown 2 pint sized jars (about 1/2 ful) is enough to feed 3 adults and 1 child WITH leftovers. We just had it the other day - we like to dunk it in homemade thousand island dressing. DELISH!!!

  31. Just delicious..we both love salmon or tuna patties too..the push is really on these days to eat much more of these oily fish.

    The snake was a beauty too, hope it keeps safe down by the creek.

    Love from Sue/coffeee

  32. Hi Rhonda, I had forgotten about these my mum used to make them especially when there were big gatherings and social events they were a treat. She would roll them into sausage shapes and of course called salmon croquettes,she would either shallow fry or deep fry them, there were never enough, everyone loved them.

  33. Thanks Rhonda for the glimpse inside your chook pen, it's a similar set up to one I saw on Byron Life blog, and seems to be one that works well. I have only 4 chooks and a small space, so won't need anything as large as yours and as I have to pay someone to build it, I don't want to get too fancy.. It gives me some good ideas though...thanks. Nanette

  34. No need to reintroduce the good ole salmon rissole in our house. It's a staple. Salmon, tuna, vegie, anything mixed with potato, crumbed and shallow fried. It's something I can get the kids to eat at least.

    Anne @ Domesblissity

  35. Thanks for the tip to put them in the fridge for an hour. I love these but always got disheartened when they would fall apart while cooking. Going to try it tonight! :)

  36. It is strange, the look of food is what my children are most into at the moment, 8yr old and 10yr old, they are fans of masterchef and I am not happy with the message it is sending them, my almost 3 year old however cooks and bakes with me and eats everything that is put in front of her with gusto...she is a sniffer and a feeler of food...she smells everything and if it smells good, (which of course it does!) even if it is a strange lot of leftovers , she will eat it.........Lets cook with our noses again, and not our eyes....cos, I dont want foam on my plate either..........eek.

  37. Fish cakes are a favourite at our place too and we had some on Sunday night. My mum used to put chopped fresh mint in them and when I have some mint growing
    I also do so. other times I put in parsley or I also use grated lemon zest and fresh dill. Sometimes I make a cheese sauce or a simple hollandaise sauce to 'dress them up' for guests.

  38. We also have leftovers when we make salmon patties. They can be broken up and used in a salad even cold later for lunch on a hot afternoon. I like to put dill in mine. I never thought I would get { kind of :) } used to black widows either but you do after repeatedly seeing and killing them. We have only had a few snakes here and only one was poisonous. I feel lucky on that account! :) Sarah

  39. Love salmon patties. We have them quite often. Great with some lemon zest.

    Am looking at your blog for the the first time in many months and glad to be looking. Will make this a regular visit because of your inspiration and my interest. Thank you.

    Sonya PS Am without my own blog.

  40. Hi Rhonda, I don't comment very often, but I do like to keep up to date with your blog.
    I've just had a snake living in my roof for the last two months. I was just about to get someone come and see if he could catch it and take it away when it disappeared. I've been living on the edge every day listening to it slithering around my ceiling. I managed to get a pic of it's head as it used to sun itself in the gutter above my front door. One day it nearly fell on me!
    I blogged about it and have learned a lot about them. We've had a mouse plague here and that's what brought them here. They're very active at the moment with all the dinners they can catch. It's been like a restaurant on tap! At least I have no rodents around anymore, but I'm awfully glad it's gone!! Maa

  41. My dog was bitten by a snake a while ago. We treat them with respect here.

    On the subject of the soap, thank you for your reply. I managed to find I solid cooking coconut oil. It was 4,86€ for a kilo

  42. Hi there. I saw a snake yesterday basking in the sun, mind you it was only very small about 14 inches or so. All the same I don't like them.

  43. Thanks for the recipe Rhonda. I'm always looking for new recipes that aren't super fancy, but just nourishing and well tasting.

    The snake is impressive. I'm slowly loosing my fear of spiders (the harmless little ones), but luckily I'm not confronted with any snakes here.

  44. When I was a kid, we had salmon patties on Monday nights. No mashed potatoes in them, but next to them, and usually peas.

    One thing I learned as an adult - if your canned salmon contains the fish spine, and it usually does, if it is soft enough to mash up, mash it separately so you can do it thoroughly, and put it back in. A little extra calcium is generally a good idea.

  45. The fish cakes look yum!
    And the snake, well, I had one here last week, a rather large python. I thought it should be hibernating but apparently it had woken itself up to welcome me to my new home :)

  46. Oh boy, I would have been so scared. I don't mind spiders or mice, but snakes ..... fortunately we don't have many snakes here in The Netherlands, accept for the ones that escape.
    There was one seen in a front garden by someone a few days ago and luckily it was captured yesterday and transported to a special zoo for reptiles.
    Have a great day.

  47. Hi dear Rhonda,

    Please, please put a post about your chickencoop! We would like to build one but can use all the information. We already decided to put it on a concrete floor and build out of bricks so I can clean it easily with the host.
    Can't wait for your book to be published! Greetings from France, Gerry

  48. Looks fabulous to me! I've been looking for more ways to incorporate fish into our diet, and as someone who doesn't have a lot experience cooking seafood, this looks like a great recipe to have on hand. Thanks!

  49. Thanks for reminding me to cook some fish patties...I haven't made them for a very long time and they would be perfect for our 'fish friday's'! I love how you just calmly added in the mention of the snake in your post...that's a big 'little snake'!

  50. We love Salmon Patties!
    Here's another take on it: Tuna (or any fish or meat leftover) Rolls --scroll down to see the recipe in the post


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