Posted by: Erica Retrochef | June 27, 2009

Mock Salmon Loaf

Last month, Recovered Recipes posted a recovered recipe that really caught my interest — Mock Salmon Roast.

Recipe for Mock Salmon Roast

Mock Salmon Roast
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup warm milk
1 egg
2 T oil
1 medium onion
Sage and salt to taste

Mix peanut butter with warm milk until blended. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes.

I was very curious to see whether peanut butter, rice, sage, and carrots would manage to come even close to tasting like salmon. I’m also curious how somebody came up with this recipe. If I’m thinking of salmon loaf, then thinking of potential replacement ingredients, “peanut butter and carrots” wouldn’t be the first that come to mind. But then I realized there wasn’t anything coming to mind. “Salmon loaf” means “salmon”, and it’s hard to shift the omnivore train of thought once it’s on the tracks.


By far the weirdest step was mixing peanut butter into warm milk. It doesn’t really smoothly blend, it just turns into tiny peanut butter globules floating in milk — mixed enough for the recipe, but odd to look at.

Peanut butter in milk

I almost forgot to add the rice, which would have really ruined the texture.

Everything in the bowl

It definitely needs to be baked in a loaf pan (or even a small casserole dish), because prior to baking, it’s very liquid.

Baked Mock Salmon Loaf

I admit, it’s not much to look at. It’s all squishy and flat. (I wasn’t concentrating on presentation; a bed of lettuce would drastically improve the visual aesthetic.)

Slice of Mock Salmon Loaf

But the taste is pretty good!

Vegetarian and vegan meals can be absolutely delicious. When you try to make vegetarian versions of specific meat dishes, however, things can get dicey — there are very few dishes which authentically emulate the flavor and texture of what they’re pretending to be. (Most people have tried a veggie burger once in their life, and said, “Well, well, that doesn’t taste like beef at all.”) The trick is to stop pretending that you’re eating a non-vegetarian dish. Our local health food store makes some very good meals, such as Vegan Chicken Kiev — if you take a bite of Vegan Chicken Kiev and expect it to taste exactly like a chicken cutlet filled with butter, you’ll be disappointed. Once you start thinking of it as a totally different dish (faux-chicken wrapped around some sort of rice-and-herb stuffing, then breaded), it’s delicious.

And that was the case with the Mock Salmon Loaf. It’s a healthy meal, with vegetables and protein and carbohydrates all mixed together in one convenient package. It tastes interesting (in a good way) and has a nice texture. It even looks like a pinky-orange meatloaf, just as a “real” salmon loaf does. But it doesn’t taste exactly like salmon, unless you haven’t had salmon in a very long time.



  1. This was an odd case, where the recipe did a much better job replicating the texture of the standard dish than it did the flavor. In most cases, meat substitutes do a reasonably good job of approximating a meaty flavor (such as chicken), but when you put it in your mouth, it doesn’t feel like what you’re expecting. In this case, the texture is pretty similar to that of salmon loaf—hardly identical, but pretty similar. The flavor, on the other hand, bears little resemblance. It tastes like carrots and peanut butter, really—neither of which is similar to anything I associate with salmon.

  2. Mock salmon … Is that like Mock Swedish? 😉

  3. I actually did a post on mock recipes a while back. However, this Mock Salmon Loaf is a “newbie” to me. I’m not surprised at its appearance or flavor. Perhaps, one of the many reasons “mock” recipes made it into the books! I’m gonna just have to add this link to my archive. Thanks for sharing, Erica

    Happy 4th!

  4. Hmmm…gonna have to take your word for it on this one, Erica. Though I have to give props to whoever wrote that recipe card; it takes a certain kind of moxie to make something out of rice and “tiny peanut butter globules floating in milk” and liken it to salmon!

  5. Unfortunately, it’s not vegetarian until you get rid of the egg. I’d like to try the recipe– what would you suggest as a substitution?

  6. With the milk and egg, it qualifies as ovo-lacto vegetarian — just not vegan.

    I imagine soy milk would be fine to eliminate the dairy. Unfortunately, I’m not vegan or vegetarian, and have never looked into good egg substitutes. Sorry 🙂

  7. This looks mighty tasty. If it veganizes well, I’ll let ya know!

  8. That sounds tasty. Just call it Harvest Carrot Loaf or something. It’s not mock anything. It’s a yummy dish in its own right.

  9. This has been on my mind ever since I read it. As a vegetarian, most of the Mid Century Menu is off limits in my kitchen.

    I made it for dinner tonight, and I thought it was really tasty, though not at all salmon-ey. I just called it “carrot loaf” and even the toddler person ate it up. Mine didn’t really loaf though, so it was more like carrot pile.

  10. Been looking for this recipe for a few years. I believe it was in an Adventist recipe book. Thanks.

  11. Mock Salmon Loaf in my Adventist family was Chickpea & “Soy cheese” based… Eggs as a binder…Onions…spices…and Lemon Juice… I figured that “soy cheese” must be Firm Tofu…and it worked…

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