In today’s world, fresh or frozen salmon is available everywhere. It’s served in almost any restaurant with seafood on the menu and prepared in a variety of ways. But it wasn’t always like this. If you grew up in the South, salmon came one way — in a can. Post-World War II salmon croquettes were a popular dinner item whose heyday lasted until the 1970s. Croquettes, of course, originated in France and didn’t feature salmon, but were used to get rid of leftovers.

A croquette usually is a small cylinder of food, although mostly done as a patty in Southern homes. It consists of a binder and filling that’s breaded and fried. A side dish in the beginning, it became a main entrée over time, served with ketchup, marinara, tomato gravy or tartar sauce. Interest in this classic dish has waned, but to older generations, it was the epitome of comfort food.

Taste of Texas

Salmon croquettes


1 (12-ounce) can salmon, drained and flaked, any bones or cartilage removed

2 large eggs, beaten

¼ cup each celery and onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon dried dill weed

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup panko bread crumbs (crushed saltines or oyster crackers can be substituted) plus, ¼ cup more for breading

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for frying

In a medium bowl, mix salmon, eggs, celery, onion, garlic powder, dill weed, salt and pepper and 1 cup of bread crumbs together. Divide into 8 equal parts and shape into patties. Dust with remaining bread crumbs and fry until golden, 4 or 5 minutes for each side. Drain on paper towels and serve. 

Phil Newton is a Galveston baker/cook. He’s the owner/operator of Stiglich Corner with partner Cindy Roberts.

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