Hatch Chile Salmon Cakes

A healthy and zesty way to use leftover or canned salmon or other fish, Hatch Chile Salmon Cakes combine flaked salmon with mashed sweet potato (no bread crumbs), Hatch green chile, and bell pepper with spices. The crispy, tender patties then get topped with avocado crema. Delicioso!

A blue ceramic plate with a Hatch chile salmon cake topped avocado crema with a print napkin and a copper fork.

Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.

~~ Jack London, American novelist.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Recipe Inspiration

These green chile salmon cakes first appeared on Beyond Mere Sustenance in 2014… time flies! We love the recipe, and it deserved an update with text and photos in 2020. The text below is original:

In last week’s post, I mentioned the fact that our much-anticipated chile season in southern New mexico is upon us. It is difficult to explain a New Mexican’s love of green chile, red chile, all things chile…

While awaiting the delivery of fresh chile to our local markets, I’ve hoped for new and creative ways to use one of my very favorite ingredients to spontaneously come to mind. It hasn’t happened.

So, I decided to take Jack London’s approach, and go after inspiration “with a club.” More simply put, I decided to experiment. Experimentation in the kitchen can be risky… I win a few, and I lose a few. My husband and I decided this one was a winner.

This recipe started a couple of weeks ago when I brought home a really nice salmon fillet. Most weeknights, I cook for two, so 2 pounds of fish was far too much for one meal. I stand firm on portion sizes, and stick very closely to 4-6 ounce portions of meat, poultry, and seafood.

Thursday evening’s meal was simple – we grilled the whole salmon fillet, brushing it with a really nice vanilla and fig balsamic vinegar. After dinner, I used a fork to flake the salmon, and refrigerated it for later use.

Since I’d decided I wanted to incorporate Hatch green chile into our diet in more healthy ways, I seized upon the idea of using the salmon with green chile to make a salmon cake or patty.  

Our first attempt was delicious, but I do like to refine a recipe before I publish it. We have now enjoyed this dish 4 times.

After serving this dish a second time, and shooting the photos, I became engaged in an all out technology assault. I contracted a virus on my laptop, transferred it to my camera, lost all my photos, sent the camera to Samsung for service, and contracted a virus on my desktop computer.

After getting both computers cleaned up, I was intent on publishing this post, so back to the market I went. I bought more salmon, grilled more salmon (with my husband’s help), and made and served the dish twice – again. Whew! I am grateful for a supportive husband that willingly eats the same dish multiple nights in a row. 😉

🐟 What We Love About the Salmon Patties

  • The patties are light and crispy, and require no breadcrumbs to hold together.
  • They are relatively low in carbohydrates.
  • They’re gluten free.
  • They’re a great way to use both leftover salmon (or other cooked fish) and leftover cooked sweet potato!
  • They taste amazing. 😀
  • Did I mention Hatch green chile?
  • These salmon cakes are healthy!

Hatch Chile Salmon Cakes

Ingredients for Hatch chile salmon cakes: cornmeal, egg, flaked salmon, spices, Hatch green chile.
  • cooked salmon – This is a great way to use leftover salmon for a completely different meal. You will want to use it the next day IMHO. You can also used canned salmon. You start the recipe with cooked salmon.
  • sweet potato – Again, this is a great way to use leftovers. The patties incorporate mashed sweet potato as a binder.
  • green chile – My preference is always roasted and chopped Hatch green chile, but you can use poblanos or Anaheims as well. You do need to use roasted, seeded, and chopped green chile.
  • red bell pepper
  • egg
  • ground cumin
  • smoked paprika
  • salt
  • ground pepper
  • cornmeal
  • olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • avocado lime crema – This quick and easy crema with yogurt elevates these simple salmon cakes. The ingredients are shown in the photo below. Head to Avocado Lime Crema with Yogurt for the recipe!

Avocado Crema

Ingredients for the avocado crema - avocado, yogurt, cilantro, lime, olive oil.
A glass bowl with all of the ingredients for the salmon cakes added but not mixed together.
The ingredients for the salmon cakes thoroughly mixed before forming and cooking.
  1. Make the avocado lime crema – Go to avocado lime crema with yogurt for ingredients and instructions. Prepare the crema. Use within 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate.
  2. Prepare the salmon cakes – Mix ingredients salmon through pepper in a large bowl, using a rubber spatula or your hands to combine well.
  3. Form the salmon cakes – Shape mixture into 4 balls. Roll carefully in cornmeal to coat.
  4. Cook the salmon cakes – Heat a bit of oil in a heavy saute pan. I spray the pan with cooking spray, and swirl the oil around to coat the entire pan. On medium heat, place formed salmon balls into the pan. Allow them to cook for 3-4 minutes. Press gently to slightly flatten them. When the cakes are golden brown, gently turn them. Cook an additional 3-4 minutes until golden brown on both sides.
A white bowl with a ball of salmon mixture rolled in cornmeal.
A saute pan with two salmon cakes browned and ready to plate.

To Serve:

  1. Top salmon cakes with a spoon of avocado crema, and garnish with a bit of chopped cilantro, crumbled cotija, and/or lime wedges as desired.
  • Small plates make portions look larger 🙂
  • The amounts listed for salmon cakes will probably yield 4 or 5 salmon cakes, and 1 is plenty for both my husband and me. That will cut the calories substantially.
  • Both the salmon cakes and the avocado crema are good for lunch the next day! For more on keeping fish see How Long Does Fish Stay Good?
  • If you with to substitute canned salmon, pick through it carefully for bones, cartilage, etc. 
  • This dish really doesn’t need to be served hot (or even warm.) We enjoyed it at room temperature.
  • My red bell pepper was not in good shape on photo day, but I always add finely chopped bell pepper.
  • Avocado crema needs to be refrigerated if not used within 30 minutes. The yogurt and lime juice should prevent the avocado from

Can I use other fish?

YES! Try it with any flaky, cooked fish.

Can I use other green chile?

If you can’t get Hatch green chile, substitute roasted and chopped poblano or Anaheim green chile.

🍷 Pairing Suggestions

On photo day, I charred some corn, and added in baby lima beans. It was a really nice pairing. I would also suggest a Mexican green bean salad, or a Mexican panzanella salad. My original photo included a corn, Hatch chile, and black bean salad. Are you adventurous? You might like these Hatch green chile salmon cakes with my nopalitos salad!

Our summer “go to” wine with Mexican flavors is a crisp rosé. This was a French style rosé with a distinct hint of grapefruit that works really well with fish cakes.

A tablescape - blue plate with salmon cakes and charred corn, fiesta print napkin, copper fork, and a glass of rosé.

Are you ready to give these delicious and healthy Hatch chile salmon cakes a try? I’m writing this in August 2020, and Hatch chiles are in season!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

salmon cake

Hatch Chile Salmon Cakes with Avocado Crema

A fresh, healthy, spicy spin on salmon cakes…
5 from 4 votes

Click to rate!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 390 kcal

Ingredients
  

Avocado Crema

  • ½ cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 avocado - pitted and skin removed
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ bunch cilantro - woody stems removed
  • 1 lime juiced
  • ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper

Hatch Chile Salmon Cakes

  • 12 ounces cooked salmon - flaked
  • 1 small sweet potato - cooked and mashed
  • ½ cup green chile - diced (I like medium heat, but use your preference)
  • ½ red bell pepper - very finely diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ground pepper
  • 1 cup cornmeal - for coating cakes
  • About 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  • Avocado Crema
  • Combine yogurt, avocado, olive oil, cilantro, and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor or blender.*
  • Add several grinds of course salt (or about 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt) and a couple of grinds of pepper. Taste for seasoning.
  • If crema is too thick, add a bit more lime juice and/or olive oil.*
  • Set aside.
  • Salmon Cakes
  • Mix ingredients salmon through pepper in a large bowl, using a rubber spatula or your hands to combine well.
  • Shape mixture into 4 balls. Roll carefully in cornmeal to coat.
  • Heat a bit of oil in a heavy saute pan. I spray the pan with cooking spray, and swirl the oil around to coat the entire pan.
  • On medium heat, place formed salmon balls into the pan. Allow them to cook for 3-4 minutes. Press gently to slightly flatten them. When the cakes are golden brown, gently turn them.
  • Cook an additional 3-4 minutes until golden brown on both sides.

To Serve:

  • Top salmon cakes with a spoon of avocado crema, and garnish with a bit of chopped cilantro, crumbled cotija, and/or lime wedges as desired.

Notes

Taste your food for seasoning! You don’t want it to be salty, but neither do you want it to taste flat.
Canned salmon is a decent substitute, but the texture and taste won’t be as good. Make sure you pick out any skin, bones, and cartilage.
Several factors determine the thickness of the cilantro crema, like the size of your avocado. Taste it, and add a little more liquid (olive oil, lime juice). Season as needed.
Macronutrients are an approximation only from MyFitnessPal.com!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 27g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com
salmon cakes
Original photo
taken August 2014!

Share this post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3 Comments

  1. So delighted to see this salmon cake recipe as it will go perfectly with your salsa recipe we tried. The avocado crema was so good, we could just do spoonfuls of that! Will be making again.

  2. Love everything about these salmon cakes! Of course green chile makes enything taste good :), but your avocado crema is a perfect little topping.