I must be honest, in my family, this is not a tuna patty recipe. It is salmon. There are two reasons for this discrepancy. First of all, I had tuna in the pantry. Second, salmon patties and I have a long, sordid history together.When I was young, probably 5 or 6, my mother made salmon patties for dinner. Thus far in my life, I had rarely eaten sea food (this happens when you live in the MidWest), and thus didn’t know what to do with the salmon patty. It tasted too… fishy. It pretended to look like a hamburger, but you couldn’t just smother it in ketchup to mask the taste. So I sat at the table, looking at it. And then my window for action arrived. Mom stepped away from the table for a moment; I sprang up, plate in hand, and headed straight for the garbage can. Depositing my food, I carried my plate back to the table and sat down before Mom came back. I was not as sneaky as I thought I was. When my mother returned, it only took moments to see a too quickly emptied plate and an untouched patty on top of the trash. So she proceeded to tell me a story about a little girl who threw away her salmon patty, which was perfectly good, and the terrible guilt this girl had, and how sorry she felt when she saw other people going hungry. I’m not sure that’s how the story actually ended, I just remember freezing once I realized I had been caught. Since then, me and salmon patties haven’t mixed. I gave them another try, just a few months ago, but their taste, as delicious as it might be, has been ruined.
So tuna it is.
The trick with these is the physical act of making the patties. Too thin and they fall apart, too thick and they won’t cook all the way through. It’s up to you to find your own middle ground. I can tell you that mine are about 3 inches in diameter and 1½ inches thick.
1 lb canned tuna, drained
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup milk
2 tsp parsley
½ tsp pepper
½ cup fine cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
Add eggs to milk and combine. Stir in tuna, followed by seasonings and crackers.
Form into patties (4-6).
Heat skillet and melt shortening over medium-high heat. Place patties into hot shortening.
Brown on both sides, about 15 minutes total.