Conquering Canned Salmon

by thestarvingartistfood

If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you have more than once heard me sing my praise for Costco. It is both the starving artist’s best friend and worst enemy. My friend Joel coined the phrase in regards to Costco “go broke saving money.” And those of you who shop at Costco know exactly what I’m talking about – if you get out spending less than $75 it’s a miracle. Whenever I get a paycheck, it’s one of my first stops, which is dangerous… it’s hard enough showing restraint with no money, but with a full wallet, I spend at least $100 without breaking a sweat. Let’s be serious, this bitch can shop.

A few weeks ago I had one of these visits to Costco and, like I often do with some extra cash to spend, I made an impulse purchase on something new… a six pack of canned salmon. I know, I know, canned salmon?? Weeks previously I had been having a conversation at the fitness studio about protein and how canned salmon could be a good and inexpensive source (40 grams per can!). So, here I was at Costco, the place where everything is cheapest when bought in mass quantity. Time for some canned salmon. Fair warning, if you’re looking for the satisfaction of a fresh grilled filet of salmon, this is not the post for you. The starving artist has to make do.

My first attempt was to use this like I would use a can of good tuna or sardines: throw it into my salad. I opened the can, drained the liquid, and turned it onto a small plate. The can-shaped brick of dirty pink fish thwopped out onto the plate as if it was being birthed. Hmm. Not what I was hoping for. A quick taste revealed more disappointment: it tastes just like canned tuna. Not that I mind canned tuna, but, well, I was hoping for salmon. Yeah, this is going to need some starving artist pizzaz.

My next move? Salmon cake. Normally one will put in things like mayonnaise, bacon, bread crumbs… but I’m in bootcamp – those won’t fly. I must be exceptionally creative. So here’s what I did. Instead of mayo, I used soy-free veganaise, which I keep in my fridge nowadays. Obviously this is not a vegan recipe, so you can just use real mayo if you have it, but veganaise is what I have and makes me feel better. Also instead of breadcrumbs I used almond meal, which is really just almonds ground up into a powder. A gluten-free breading that you can get at Trader Joe’s for $3.99. The one exception I did make is using panko bread crumbs on the exterior for an unbeatable crunch. I normally use almond meal instead of bread crumbs to coat things, but for this particular recipe it really needed the panko.

I eat them just as pictured with a bit of hot sauce on them. Also great with homemade tzatziki sauce or the infamous secret sauce. You can top them with avocado, put them on a bun, or you can make them into balls and serve them as finger food at your next gathering. Just put out some store-bought remoulade for dipping. Mmm!’

Now, much like the ice cream post from yesterday, these should not be eaten every day. I ate these three days a row last week and stopped losing weight – not good! Have them once a week and you’ll be golden. Woohoo! I’m going to try for one or two more creations with this stuff… I’ll let you know what I come up with.

Almost Guiltless Salmon Cakes – Recipe PDF


William Cabrera January 28, 2013 - 9:20 am

One time I purchased a can of salmon and there were bones in it. Is that typical? Are you supposed to meticulously remove them?

The Starving Artist January 28, 2013 - 1:16 pm

Hi Will! You know that’s a really good question. I just examined one of the cans I bought from Costco and it is marked “skinless and boneless” on the front of the label. This makes me think that some cheaper brands may in fact have bones in them, which seems kind of crazy. For my money, bones never worth it. Next time you go to buy canned salmon I would look carefully at the labels before you make your purchase and make sure it specifies that it’s boneless. Since this is my first time ever purchasing canned salmon, I’m going to check for myself next time in the grocery store. I’ll let you know if I discover anything else. And please let me know how it turns out for you as well!

queennzingha May 30, 2013 - 6:02 pm

The Starving Artist…so far I like the way you write. I’m going to be writing about being a starving Artist on my blog soon. On your site do you have a budget that you work by?

Also would love to share recipes with you.

Best Wishes…


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