Monday 2 June 2014

Salmon Loaf

Behold! I give you the glorious tapestry known as Salmon Loaf!

Okay, it’s not the most attractive thing in the world. But need I remind you how disgusting salmon looks when it comes out of the can? There are all those slithery grey bits of skin and bones sticking out and sometimes, depending on how much the salmon canner was slacking off, you’ll find a lone salmon eye staring back at you.

Cakers love salmon. (It comes in a can, after all.) But we usually stick to pink salmon. It’s the paler, cheaper cousin of sockeye. We mainly use it in salmon sandwiches (pronounced "sammin sammitches") made with white, buttered bread. My great-grandmother survived on salmon sandwiches and she lived to be almost 100. Of course, her house probably smelled like Captain Highliner’s beard.

This recipe called for a 8” x 12” pan, which I used. But I was a little disappointed that I didn’t opt for my loaf pan. After all, if you’re going to call something a loaf, it should look like a loaf. What you’re looking at here could easily be called Salmon Squares. And without a sprinkling of shredded coconut on top, that just seems wrong.

Looks aside, this salmon loaf tasted great. Just watch for bones. And eyes.

1 large can salmon (see note 1)
2 cups crushed soda crackers
1 ½ cups milk
2 eggs beaten
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard
¼ cup melted butter
1 tablespoon vinegar

Mix all ingredients together. Press into cooking dish approx. 8” x 12.” Can be served hot or cold. Cook at 350 deg. for 1 hr. Put salmon can in oven with water to keep salmon loaf moist. (see note 2)

Note 1: You can usually find the larger cans, but if not, I'd use two regular-sized cans. Or maybe three?
Note 2: I was going to do this, but then got freaked out thinking about the fumes from the label glue. So I put water in another baking dish and set it next to the loaf.

Source: Happiness is Cooking with Lockhart School, Newcastle, Ontario


  1. I actually kind of like salmon loaf, and this recipe seems reasonable. On the other hand, I hate dealing with canned salmon. By the time you get through picking out all the skin (ew), bones (yes, I know they're edible. I'm still not going to eat them), and eyes (urk), not only are you left with about a tablespoon of usable salmon, but you have this huge platter of gunk that has to be disposed of somehow. Why can't it be like tuna?
    I love this part: "Put salmon can in oven with water to keep salmon loaf moist." I do believe the Lockhart School just invented the Caker Bain Marie.

    1. Lockhart School was ahead of its time, no doubt about it. A friend was telling me about her Bain Marie, but it creeped me out. I was like, so you take raw meat, put in a warm waterbed and cook it for three days and then EAT IT? I mean, doesn't that sound just a little bit freaky to you?

    2. I think this may be to err- epicurean for this caker. I loathe dealing with salmon from a can. Too much skin, bones, sick stuff - it's too much for me, even the sockeye kind - like I know the difference between pink and red salmon. It's all yucky.

    3. Clover Leaf makes tinned salmon without bones and skin. I think they also used to make a salmon that tasted more like tuna for those who wanted the Omega-3 cachet of salmon but without all that salmony flavour (I remember buying it precisely for that reason).

      And now I'm craving kippers...

      P.S. I think (or rather, I hope) you're confusing a bain-marie -- a cooking set-up wherein the cooking vessel is placed on top of a pot of water on the stove-top or within a pan of water in the oven (the food never goes into the water) -- with sous vide immersion cooking that involves sealing food in a plastic bag and having it swim around in water kept at a consistently low temperature for many hours, sometimes days (if it's meat or vegetables that you want to get a crisp exterior on, you then quickly grill it before serving). My mother has a waterbed, and the thought of her cooking anything in it is more than just a little bit freaky.

    4. You're right about my mistake. I was talking to a friend today about this and neither one of us could remember the correct name. "It starts with s," she said. Anyway, you won't catch me buying a sous vide any time soon. Who has the time to cook anything that long?

  2. Two cups of crushed soda crackers... what's that in boxes?

    1. Gumbee, I believe it was about 2 columns, if I remember correctly. You can crush them up with your hands. It's a good way to work out the frustrations of the day.

  3. I can't with the canned salmon. I just can't.

  4. There are two types of people in this world: those who can and those who canned not.

  5. Alternate recipe - 2 small cans salmon (or one large), can of condensed mushroom soup, onion, egg, breadcrumbs, celery, bit of lemon juice. I actually like and make this. You just have to get past the grossness that is tinned salmon.

    1. Thanks for the tip, kb. A can of cream of mushroom soup? That'll take this down a notch on the ol' colour wheel.

      "Honey, what's for dinner tonight?"