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Enjoy Magazine

Pepper-Crusted Salmon Cakes With Crème Fraiche Horseradish Sauce

01/24/2014 02:28PM ● By Lana Granfors
By Lana Granfors
Photo by Kara Stewart

Imagine it… the peppery crust of a great steak and the silkiness of poached salmon. Combined, the results are crunchy, tender patties of salmon with a crust of ground pepper and bread crumbs. The  crust is spicy and crisp, giving way to silky fish in the center. The crème fraiche softens the bite of the horseradish for the sauce. These make the perfect main course with a salad and roasted vegetables, your guests will love them as hors d’oeuvres, and they are great as leftovers for breakfast—serve on toast with a poached egg and your day will perk up in a remarkable way.

Serves: 6 medium cakes or 15 – 18 smaller appetizer-sized cakes


1 pound salmon (wild caught)
½ cup crème fraiche
1 T prepared horseradish
1 tsp. lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 T finely chopped red bell pepper 
2 T finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 T finely chopped red onion
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 cup Panko bread crumbs, divided
1 T coarsely ground/cracked
black pepper
Olive oil for frying


1 | Preheat your oven to 350F. Place the salmon in a baking pan with a half-inch of water.  Bake/poach until just cooked through, 20-25 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool slightly. Blot dry with a paper towel and remove the skin.  

2 | In the meantime, in a small bowl combine the crème fraiche, 1 T horseradish and lemon juice with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set sauce aside.  

3 | Put the salmon in a bowl and add the minced bell pepper, parsley, red onion, mustard, mayonnaise, remaining horseradish and a half-cup of breadcrumbs. Stir with a fork to combine well and fluff. If the mix seems wet or too dry to form into cakes, add mayo or bread crumbs as needed. Exact quantity to add is totally by feel.        

4 | Form the salmon mixture into six patties, or smaller if you’re serving them as small appetizer cakes. Place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.    

 5 | Mix together the remaining half-cup of bread crumbs and the cracked pepper on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Heat a large splash of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Gently dip the salmon cakes in the ground pepper mixture, lightly coating both sides. The cakes will be fragile; be careful when you handle them. You may need to add a touch more bread crumbs and pepper, depending on how thickly you coat your cakes. Fry the salmon cakes until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve the horseradish sauce on the side. Garnish with chives and parsley.     


Prep time: 45 minutes; Bake time: 20-25 minutes; Cooking time: 6-8 minutes