You can use canned salmon for almost any dish typically made with a fresh salmon fillet or steak. Your final dish will look different from one made with whole pieces of fish, but the same salmon flavor and much of the salmon texture remains. Drain your canned salmon to remove excess water; some brands also contain bones and skin that you can leave in, since they are soft and edible, or take them out.
Use canned salmon as a one-for-one substitute for tuna in sandwiches and instead of smoked salmon on bagels. Garnish both sandwiches as you normally would, with thinly sliced red onions and a sprinkling of capers. Or transform canned salmon into salmon burgers by mixing in one egg white for each can of salmon, adding seasonings and frying the burgers in a skillet for about 3 minutes per side. Serve the salmon burgers as you would hamburgers.
Salads -- for Dinner or on the Side
One can of salmon turns any salad into a lunch or dinner main course or adds flavor and protein to a side salad. Use chunky pieces of salmon for salad Nicoise, a French-style salad with lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, anchovies, tomatoes, olives and green beans. Or, flake the salmon into pieces with a fork to spread throughout a Caesar salad, a chopped salad or pasta salad.
Main-Course Salmon Dishes
One 5- or 6-ounce can of salmon turns pasta, rice or egg dishes into meals for one or two people; add another can for a heartier meal. Add the salmon toward the end of cooking so the flakes stay in large pieces, and include additional ingredients or creamy sauces to any of these dishes. Possible ingredients that pair well with salmon include cream and cream cheese, asparagus, peas, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, basil, chives, dill, mint, parsley, shallots and thyme.
Canned salmon substitutes for whole salmon or other fish in dishes as varied as New England chowder, Cajun salmon cakes or Baja fish tacos. Add canned salmon at the end of cooking to your favorite chowder recipe instead of or in addition to clams, and, for tacos, substitute canned salmon on a one-to-one basis for halibut or cod. For salmon cakes, mix 1/2 cup of dry breadcrumbs for every 3 cans of salmon along with Cajun seasoning to taste and other ingredients such as mayonnaise, mustard and oil to moisten the mixture. Fry the cakes as you would salmon burgers.