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So, I have this jarred salmon here, caught up in Montana in 2010 I believe, cooked (not sure how) and sealed in a mason jar since. I opened the jar yesterday and tried a bit of the salmon on saltines. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it smelled and looked good upon opening the jar, nothing like the canned salmon you find in stores.

Anyway, there's a bunch of salmon left, and I'm not sure how long it will keep, and I don't want to eat it all on crackers. So, I figured I'd make either salmon patties or salmon dip, and, not being completely decided, I picked up ingredients for both.

When I returned home, I realized I only have one egg, not enough to make salmon patties; but now I'm leaning toward the patties, as I'm starting to get pretty hungry and the dip seems like more of a snack.

I'm wondering if there's any chance I could use the cream cheese as a substitute for the eggs, and make the patties that way, but lots of recipe searching has lead nowhere.

Will the cream cheese work as a substitute for eggs as far as doing the work of holding the patties together? Will it cook right? More importantly, will it taste good? Or should I put this idea out of my head and either go buy some more eggs or just make the dip?

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When you cook eggs they harden. When you cook cheese, it melts. However, someone may be able to suggest another protein source which you could use as a binder. –  Peter Taylor May 20 '12 at 7:22
    
@PeterTaylor thanks, I was hoping it would hold them together long enough to pan fry them, maybe in conjunction with this one egg, but you're probably right... I just figured the ingredients were so similar between the dip and the patties (really the major difference is cream cheese instead of eggs) that it might be interesting / tasty / worth a shot. –  Autophil May 20 '12 at 7:51
    
How big is the jar? I usually make salmon patties with only one egg. –  baka May 20 '12 at 12:06

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The only thing which can hold patties together is raw protein. Other things can thicken them, but they don't glue them. Egg is the easiest source of raw protein. In theory, you can also use the gluten in flour, but in practice, you will have to make a dough with just a little salmon mixed in it, not lots of salmon with a little flour sprinkled, and this would taste very weird. Cream cheese won't help at all, because all the protein in it (which isn't much) has been cooked/curdled during the process of turning milk to cheese.

But if you say that the only difference between the dip and the patties is cream cheese instead of eggs, why do you say that the dip is a snack and the patties are a full meal? The dip is likely to have more calories, by the way.

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Thanks for putting up with my culinary cluelessness, this is very helpful to me although I'm sure it's pretty basic knowledge to you guys. You're absolutely right about the dip vs. patties thing... the dip will contain more calories, so it should be more filling. I guess it just feels more like a snacky food, know what I mean? Anyway (I don't know why I didn't think of this yesterday) I'm just going to make both; I've got one egg after all. Thanks for the advice! –  Autophil May 20 '12 at 17:52
    
Hehe, we wouldn't know this if somebody hadn't written the information somewhere where we could read it :) and this site is made exactly for the purpose of sharing knowledge, so "putting up" is no trouble for us. Enjoy your salmon! –  rumtscho May 20 '12 at 18:16

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