Way back when our mom had this idea we could not afford canned salmon, so she bought the red can instead of the pink one, the red can is mackerel, jack mackerel. A bit stronger than the salmon but has the same texture including bones and skin as the pink can does. She makes these patties that were so good it seemed like you could not get enough.
In my adult life I continue to make them. When my husband worked he brought some of the left overs to work one day. He was a hit during the lunch break at the construction site. One man in particular thought he had died and gone to heaven. Cornelius started calling me the mackerel patty lady. Don’t know if that was good or bad but I laughed at the complement. One year for his birthday I made he a giant one…..I had to hand deliver it…..to make sure he got it himself.
At this construction site they have a variety of workers, one guy Dave, was a State soils inspector. He not only had an important title but owned a restaurant and was also president of the San Diego yacht club. He loved the patties too. Asking for the recipe I gave it to him, he explained he wanted to make a bunch for a members meeting at the club that weekend. I believe he made a dozen cans…..tons of patties. After the luncheon but before speaking he saw all the patties at been gobbled up, people were even asking for more. As he got up to speak, he tells this tale how he had fun with the yacht club members. “I see you all liked those patties I brought,” everyone says yeah, yes, absolutely……he goes “you’ll never believe what it is made of”. “Bait…..you just ate bait”. Dave then tells the story of the patties and many members asked for the recipe.
The mackerel is cheaper and I think having the stronger flavor suits this recipe better than the salmon. But try it both ways. And don’t tell your family which one is which and see what they favor. I hope you enjoy.
Mackerel patties/salmon patties
1 can jack mackerel or pink salmon do not drain
1/4 cup finely chopped onion or half of medium size.
1/4 to 1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt and some pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh finely chopped rosemary if using dried use a little more and crumble it
Fry pan and either oil or spray to cook it in.
In a mixing bowl add mackerel and all the liquid from the can. Break apart with a fork and mix it up. Add all the other ingredients, only add 1/4 cup flour to start. Add more so that a firm but not dry patty can be formed. After pan is hot….and oil is added…..Using a full size soup spoon, Spoon mixture into pan and press down with back of spoon to form patty shape. Cook in fry pan so the patties are golden brown on both sides.
We serve this plain or sometimes wih a Louisiana or Tabasco hot sauce. These are even good cold. Btw I use scissors when cutting the Rosemary. Makes it easier and the pieces are perfect size.