I love can salmon because I can eat it straight out of the can wherever I am. But in the words of Chef Emmerald Lagasse, sometimes we need to “kick it up a notch!”  So here is a easy and tasty rendition of salmon cakes using turmeric and spicy chiles. it will be BAM in your mouth!! And if you don’t have can salmon, you can use the leftover salmon from last night. Salmon is so versatile and makes a great sandwich spread or converted in to these tasty cakes. Be flexible and have fun with it!

This recipe is brought to us by Chef Kim Sunée out of Anchorage Alaska.

Salmon Cakes with Spicy Turmeric Garlic

Make the Spicy Turmeric Garlic first so you can use the strained oil for roasting the vegetables and cooking the cakes.
Prep Time 45 days
Servings 4


Spicy Turmeric Garlic:

  • Grapeseed or avocado oil for shallow frying
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeños or Serrano chiles stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Salmon Cakes:

  • 1 heaping cup diced parsnip about 1 medium
  • 1 heaping cup diced golden beet or carrot about 1 medium
  • Oil from making Spicy Turmeric Garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely minced celery about 1 stalk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeño or serrano about 1 to 2
  • 1 green onion minced
  • 2 6-ounce cans wild Alaska sockeye salmon (remove and discard any bones or skin)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs lightly whisked

Cucumber Yogurt:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • Grate cucumber and mix into yogurt.


  • For Spicy Turmeric Garlic: Pour oil to about 1/2-inch high in a heavy-bottom pan and place over medium-high heat. When oil is very hot but not smoking, add garlic and jalapeño; turn once or twice until golden and crisp (if it burns, start over). Add turmeric and stir. Using a slotted spoon or spider, remove garlic and jalapeño into a small bowl; set aside. Strain remaining oil through a sieve, discarding any solids; use strained oil for roasting vegetables and frying salmon cakes.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Spread parsnip and beet evenly on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with some of the strained oil from making the Spicy Garlic Turmeric. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender. Remove vegetables to a cutting board; give them another chop; add to a mixing bowl. Add celery, jalapeño, and green onion. Stir in salmon; season lightly with salt and pepper; taste and add more salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in egg to just combine.
  • Pour a light coating of oil from Spicy Turmeric Garlic into a large skillet over medium-high heat; if needed, add a bit more grapeseed or avocado oil. Form salmon mixture into 8 round cakes/patties. When skillet is hot (cakes will sizzle when pan is hot enough) add salmon cakes. Cook about 2 minutes until golden brown on one side. Gently turn and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with Maldon flake salt. Serve warm in cabbage leaves, topped with Spicy Turmeric Garlic and Cucumber Yogurt.


Recipe by Chef Kim Sunée, author of “A Mouthful of Stars” and “Trail of Crumbs”, Anchorage

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