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I tried flour and flour and corn meal and they still fell apart? Different combinations. I read flax seed can be good. Does anyone have any ideas what might work?

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    I just delted the first one. That was a mistake but I could not find it to delete it. Thank you for locating it. I followed your link and now its gone.
    – Sedumjoy
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 20:13
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    @Joe sounds like you should post that as an answer.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 20:49
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    @Sedumjoy note that vegan mayonnaise may not perform the same as a binder as real mayonnaise does. You'd need to experiment.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 20:50
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    @Sedumjoy are you aware that real mayo contains eggs? Are you actually trying to avoid eggs entirely (in which case mayo doesn't get you there) or do you just not have any eggs to hand and you're looking for alternatives?
    – brhans
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 12:54
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    I don't think this question is answerable (or should be answered) without the clarification requested multiple times: why no eggs? The answer is different, very much so, based on that detail. Without it, this should be closed.
    – Joe M
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 17:29

4 Answers 4

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Natural gelling agents can actually do a remarkably good job as binders for stuff like meatballs or fish cakes.

One of my friends regularly makes meatballs using a blend of agar instead of eggs as a binder, and they are remarkably good (although distinctly different from the same recipes made using eggs). I’ve done similarly myself once before with gelatin and the results came out pretty well there too (though I made a point to experiment a bit ahead of time to get the consistency right).

Other options along this line might include konjac jelly, pectin, or carrageenan.

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    @Sedumjoy In case it helps, Konjac is mostly a Japanese thing, though it’s also used in parts of China and Vietnam. Carrageenan is mostly a Filipino and Indonesian thing. Both of them, as well as agar and pectin, have also been seeing a surge in popularity elsewhere as vegan alternatives to gelatin, so even if you can’t find them at a regular grocery store, you can probably find at least one of them at a specialty ‘health food’ store. Commented May 6, 2023 at 17:45
  • I think I am going to forget the agar. Google says it's possibly safe so that's out. . I am going to use flour and pressure. Thank you !
    – Sedumjoy
    Commented May 7, 2023 at 19:33
  • Carrageenan might be...shall we say "questionable". The mustard idea sounds excellent. Thank you.
    – Sedumjoy
    Commented May 7, 2023 at 19:51
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I use a combination of mustard and bread crumb. However, first I take about 1/4 of the salmon and make a paste of it in the food processor. Then add mustard, breadcrumb, and seasonings, toss in the remaining cubed salmon, and pulse briefly so as to leave some texture. You may need to fully mix with a spoon or spatula. Form, then chill well before cooking.

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    The protein in meat can certainly act as a binder, assuming you properly treat it. See, for example, Chinese Fish Balls. Your food processor paste is probably doing what the stand mixer is doing in the video - working the protein until it comes apart and gets sticky. (But instead of using it directly for the texture, you're using it as a binder for the rest of the fish.)
    – R.M.
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 19:19
  • @R.M. that is correct.
    – moscafj
    Commented May 6, 2023 at 15:46
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I haven't tried it with fish yet, but one common vegan alternative to egg as a binder is oatmeal. You have to soak the oats in a bit of hot water (or broth if you want to avoid diluting the umami flavor of the dish). Don't use too much liquid. Just enough so the oats get soggy and you get a thick, slimy mush. Mix it with the other ingredients of the patty, and then fry it in a pan.

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  • Another common vegan alternative is flaxseed meal mixed with water. Although I also haven't tried for fish cakes. Commented May 5, 2023 at 13:31
  • Great althernatives thank you. careful with the flaxseed...I think there is a story behind that. You may want to google ..not sure...maybe trace amounts of cyanide if you use too much flaxseed. But I don't know you would have to research.
    – Sedumjoy
    Commented May 6, 2023 at 14:35
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If the point is to be using a vegan binder why bother if you’re adding it to meatballs or fish cakes? Is it because there is an allergy to eggs? Have a look at a product called egg replacer. Available in supermarkets most places. Could be in the health section or with the gluten free etc type of products.

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  • No allergy. I am going to try flour and pressure. Someone else suggested mayo. Souonds interesting. Thank you
    – Sedumjoy
    Commented May 7, 2023 at 19:36

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