Salmon Falafel

Salmon Falafel 2

Look at me, posting something not sweet! Something you may already know about me: I love homemade falafel, all crispy and warm, straight from the pan. It occurred to me that a kind of amalgamation between fish cake and falafel might be possible, and it turns out salmon gets along brilliantly with chickpeas (doesn’t everything?) and adds a meaty richness to the already delicious falafel. It’s a match made in frying pan heaven.

Salmon Falafel

I don’t know what else to say about these except that you should probably make them as soon as possible, if you’re a fan of both – they make tasty little-kid finger food, work as an appetizer, or can be stuffed into soft pitas the traditional way, and loaded with chopped tomato, cilantro and garlicky tzatziki. (I like to flatten the traditional falafel balls slightly, to make crunchy raggedy edges.) They’re also delicious with all manner of aioli, or just plain, eating with fingers straight from the pan.

Salmon Falafel


May 26, 2017


1 19 oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, drained

1 can salmon, drained

2 green onions, chopped

2-4 garlic cloves, peeled

1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 tsp cumin

?1/4 tsp salt

?pinch dried chili flakes

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

?1 tsp baking powder

canola oil, for frying


1Combine the chickpeas, salmon, onions, garlic, cilantro, cumin, salt and chili flakes in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined but still chunky, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add the flour and baking powder and pulse until you have a soft mixture that you can roll into balls without sticking to your hands too much. You can make it as smooth as you want, but I like leaving a little texture.

2Roll the dough into meatball-sized balls, and if you like, flatten each slightly, making a little patty. (I like doing this for maximum surface area, which equals more crunch. Flatter also means they cook through more quickly.)

3In a shallow pot or skillet, heat about 1/2-inch of canola or other mild vegetable oil until it’s hot but not smoking. Test it with a bit of falafel mixture or a scrap of bread – the oil should bubble up around it. Cook the falafel for a few minutes per side, without crowding the pan (which will cool down the oil), until they’re golden and crisp. (You could get away with using just a drizzle of oil – if you do this, best to leave the falafels round, so that you can roll them around in the pan to brown all sides.) Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

4Serve warm, with tzatziki or thick plain Greek yogurt spiked with lemon, garlic, tahini and salt. Makes about 20 falafel.


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7 comments on “Salmon Falafel

  1. florapie
    May 28, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    These were delicious with the addition of the juice and zest of one lemon, but they fell apart when I tried to fry them (yes, I know I changed the recipe, so that’s on me!) Luckily, cooking them like pancakes in a non-stick pan worked beautifully!

    • Julie
      May 28, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      Phew – good to hear it!

  2. Rachel
    May 28, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I rolled these into small balls and deep-fried them, as I had some leftover frying oil. They were wonderful with a sauce I made out of chèvre thinned with some water, green onions and black pepper.

    • Julie
      May 28, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      Oh man, that sounds amazing!

  3. Jack
    April 11, 2018 at 7:04 am

    What size can salmon?
    Sorry maybe I missed it in the recipe copy
    Thank you

    • Julie
      April 11, 2018 at 9:29 am

      Just a standard can size!

  4. Lucy @ Salmon Recipes
    August 29, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    Oh my gosh thanks for submitting this! Items and I mix up cans of salmon All of the time however typically eat it cold like a carrot salad, then this also seems fantastic

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