Posted by: Erica Retrochef | October 14, 2013

Up North Salmon Supper

Tuna Macaroni Cheese Loaf didn’t work out well for us. Undaunted, we’re trying another fish-based loaf-like object this week, featuring:


Up North Salmon Supper

2 cups (1-lb. can) red salmon, skin and bones removed
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
1-1/2 cups cottage cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 cup crushed oven-toasted rice cereal
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

Drain salmon and partially cook peas in the salmon liquor. Mix together cottage cheese, egg, cracker and cereal crumbs, Cheddar cheese, green pepper, onion, lemon juice, pepper and salt. Add peas and salmon, broken into chunks. Spoon into pan or casserole and bake 45 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.


We’ve even got a fish-shaped mold which was, uh, “borrowed” recently from a family member. (Honestly, the mold is the main reason we’re trying this. I refuse to have it sitting around my kitchen unused, as that just makes me feel really guilty about having it.)

Oh yeah, ingredients. Salmon! Peas! Crackers and crisped rice cereal! Cottage cheese! Oh, the insanity!


We’ve drained off the salmon liquor here, to use for cooking our peas in a few minutes. I’ll pause briefly to note that a Google search for “salmon liquor” or “fish liquor” doesn’t turn up much information about it, aside from some mildly disturbing questions about euthanizing goldfish and a large number of liquor stores named after fish. This isn’t a well-recognized culinary term. (Rather fishy. HAHAHA…)


Unlike tuna fish, which comes in reasonable-sized tidbits (at least in the cans I’ve always seen), the salmon slid out of the can and stayed in one large cylinder. It looked like they’d just chopped off the salmon’s tail and stuffed it into a can.


I needed to step away for a moment before I dealt with that lump of fish, so I put some nice tasty peas into some fish liquor.


That soothing vegetable experience was not nearly enough to prepare me for what I found when I unfolded the fish cylinder: spines, ribs, and skin everywhere. It wasn’t just one salmon tail, it was many random parts of salmon. I walked right out of the kitchen.



Buzz kindly spent about twenty minutes deboning the salmon so we could mix it with everything else.


The goop was dumped into the nice shiny copper fish mold. It’s probably the first time the mold was ever cooked in, actually; like most shiny copper molds, it was being used as a wall hanging.


After cooking, the “supper” was somewhat more solid, but still quite goopy. Bits of stuff were stuck all over the inside of the mold.


We tried our best to hide it behind a bunch of lemon wedges.


The kids wouldn’t go near this. I assume they were partly concerned that there were bones lurking in the salmon, but also, well, just look at the picture. Look at it. And I have to admit I was terrified that there were bones lurking in the salmon, and I didn’t try it either. It’s not a proud moment for me as a Blogger of Silly Foods.

However, Buzz was willing to try the Salmon Supper (presumably he trusted his ability to find bones, or just didn’t care). So he’s able to inform you all that it was ok. Not delicious, but certainly not bad. A bit gooey and somewhat bland, but it all got eaten and enjoyed.

I’m as surprised as you.

Shelf Life Taste Test has provided an excellent supply of bizarre retro recipe ideas and this was no exception.


  1. I use canned salmon almost exclusively when I prepare salmon cakes. I like Trader Joes canned salmon the best, which says on the can that the bones and skin are completely edible and a good source of calcium; I’ll take their word for it! It took me about 2 tries to get over the gross factor. Now I just get to it. It takes me about 2 minutes and a ton of hand soap to be done with the job. I think the flavor is actually pretty tasty once you mix in onions, bread crumbs, lemon, etc… This recipe, however, doesn’t look appealing to me (sorry, no offense!). I don’t really want to cook my peas in canned fish juice! Maybe I’d try it with steamed pea instead, haha! Anyway, if you can’t stand the canned stuff and it’s juice, buy the salmon in the pouch. It’s pricier, but at least you won’t feel grossed out and wondering if you’ll accidentally swallow a bone! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, as always!

  2. Gross! But now I want a copper salmon mold.

  3. The bones are the best part of canned salmon! lol Since they’ve been cooked in some kind of ridiculous high intensity heat, they’re very soft- not like what you’d expect at all. I never take the bones and skin out, I just mix it all in. We use to fight over getting the circle bones when we were kids. lol

  4. The bones are steamed to death, they are not going to stick in your throat, they can be easily chewed and swallowed. The bones are good for you! (though, yeah, I remove the big ones, and the spine and skin, they look so gross). The actual taste of the canned salmon I’ve bought is very good, really! Very moist, not fishy as you’d think, wonderful in a pasta salad. It just doesn’t look very pretty.

  5. IF, there is ANYTHING nasty / funky / yucky – ER than canned salmon, I’m not sure what it is. And I’m not anti-fish, I love seafood and most fresh water fish, I like tuna salad, my favorite pizza…ANCHOVY…but canned salmon, [to me anyway] smells spoiled when you pop that lid.

    OH, stop making that face, anchovy pizza is good!

  6. I grew up on canned salmon (salmon patties!), and we always ate the bones (as others have said, they’re so soft you don’t notice them). I hope you can use the mold again. Maybe a recipe using gelatin and floating chunks of … something. Maybe shrimp!

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