Corn Cakes with Smoked Salmon

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is a valuable recipe to have in your repertoire because it can be used in a number of ways. The combination of small corn cakes and salmon is a sophisticated passed hors d’oeuvre; plated alongside a salad, it makes a first course or light lunch that could precede poultry, meat, or even cooked fish; and, because it features smoked fish, a brunch staple, it’s just as much at home at a weekend breakfast as at the dinner table.


Nightly Specials

Instead of salmon, use smoked trout, smoked sturgeon, or smoked mackerel. Gravlax (salmon cured with sugar, salt, and herbs) would also be a fine alternative.

Top the corn cakes and smoked salmon with salmon roe or sturgeon caviar.

Serves4 to 6 as an Hors D’oeuvre or Appetizer

Cooking Methodpan-frying



Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, hors d'oeuvre, main course

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Mealbrunch, dinner, lunch


Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, crisp, rich, savory, tangy

Type of Dishcanape/crostini


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Fine sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, at room temperature
  • About ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup chopped chives, plus a few whole chives for garnish
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, thinly sliced horizontally, then into thin strips


  1. Stir the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt together in a bowl. Whisk the eggs in another bowl, then whisk the eggs, milk, and butter into the dry ingredients to make a batter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. Pour a thin layer of vegetable oil into a large saute pan and heat it over medium heat until a drop of batter sizzles on contact. Begin to spoon batter, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, into the pan to make pancake-like corn cakes, cooking them until lightly crisped and golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Cook in batches, cleaning the pan if it becomes messy and adding additional oil as necessary. Keep the cakes warm by covering with foil while you finish cooking the remaining batter.

  3. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and chopped chives.

  4. Arrange the corn cakes on a serving dish or platter; top each with a dollop of the cream, and finish with some of the sliced salmon. Garnish with whole chives and serve.


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