Spicy Salmon Cakes + Cilantro Lime Aioli

Our chipotle fried salmon patties are crispy on the outside and wonderfully juicy on the inside! Topped with an irresistibly fresh cilantro lime aioli, these spicy fish cakes make for a delicious appetizer or quick dinner!

Made with fresh salmon, these spicy fish cakes can be whipped up quickly and are one of our go-to weeknight dinners! The fried salmon patties are mixed with pantry ingredients and get a spicy kick from chipotles in adobo sauce. And while they’re great on their own, we absolutely love to serve them alongside a fresh and super easy cilantro lime aioli!

platter of salmon cakes with bowl of cilantro lime aioli

spicy fish cakes with fresh salmon

To make these spicy fish cakes using fresh salmon, you’ll first cook the salmon in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Our goal here is to get the salmon just to rare, which means an internal temperature of about 120 F (50 C). This will ensure that the salmon patties are cooked through, but still nice and juicy after frying.

Once your salmon is cooked, you can discard the skin and flake it into a mixing bowl. Now just add your remaining ingredients: panko, cilantro, lime juice, egg and chopped chipotles in adobo. Mix everything together and then form into eight patties.

To fry the salmon patties, start by heating a thin layer of oil (something with a high smoke point) in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook each patty for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and then transfer to a paper towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil. And that’s it — your spicy salmon cakes are ready!

fried salmon patties FAQ

Can I use canned salmon instead of fresh salmon?

Fresh salmon will result in juicier fish cakes, but canned salmon can be used in a pinch. One 14.75 ounce can should be just the right amount — just make sure the salmon is well drained!

How can I make these salmon cakes less spicy?

Chipotles in adobo can differ in spice level so make sure to adjust to taste. If you’re very spice averse, I would recommend trying to remove as many of the seeds as possible from the chipotles.

My salmon cake mixture is too moist / too dry. How can I fix it?

If your salmon cakes are too moist, you can add a bit more panko to get the perfect texture. And if they’re too dry and not sticking together, a tablespoon or two of mayo should definitely do the trick!

fried spicy salmon cakes

cilantro lime aioli

And now the easiest part! To make the cilantro lime aioli you’ll just need greek yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.

Because the salmon cakes are spicy, we’ve made the sauce super bright and fresh. But if you’re like us and love all things spicy, you can add a jalapeno into the mix for an extra kick!

And while we use greek yogurt and mayonnaise as the base of this sauce, you can definitely mix it up using whatever you have on hand. Sour cream and plain yogurt both make excellent substitutes for greek yogurt. You can also play around with the ratio of the base. While we used a bit more greek yogurt for a lighter sauce, you could use a 50:50 ratio of greek yogurt to mayo for a richer flavor!

close up of spicy salmon cakes

For more delicious seafood inspiration, make sure to check out these recipes!

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platter of salmon cakes with bowl of cilantro lime aioli

spicy salmon cakes + cilantro lime aioli

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Brittney
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 salmon patties
    • Prep Time: 15 minutes
    • Cook Time: 30 minutes


spicy salmon cakes

  • 1 pound (450 grams) salmon
  • kosher salt to taste
  • ½ cup (40 grams) panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup (15 grams) cilantro, chopped (use leaves and thin stems)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, chopped (plus 2 tablespoons sauce from can)
  • vegetable oil for frying

cilantro lime aioli

  • ½ cup (120 grams) greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup (15 grams) cilantro
  • kosher salt to taste


spicy salmon cakes

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C) and line a pan with foil.
  2. Season the salmon with salt and place on the prepared pan. Bake until just cooked to rare (an internal temperature of approximately 120 F or 50 C). Allow to cool slightly, discard the skin and flake the salmon into a large bowl.
  3. Add the panko, cilantro, lime juice, egg, chopped chipotles and 2 tablespoons of sauce from the can. Mix well and form into 8 patties.
  4. Heat enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook each salmon patty for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer the cooked salmon patties to a paper towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil.

cilantro lime aioli

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.

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  1. This has to be the best salmon recipe I have ever taste, and I live in Finland!!!! To be honest am venezuelan lady living in Finland and here there are 1000 ways to eat salmon! And this is the absolute best! Thank you!

  2. Thank you so much for giving this recipe a try, Kelly! I’m so glad you loved it! 🙂

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