Salmon Croquettes
Rikkí Wright

Have you ever woken up in the morning already knowing the taste that you want to saturate your taste buds? Salmon croquettes are one of those things that at least once per month my body just craves. Maybe because food is memory and my body is always reaching back into a time when there was joy and pleasure, those summers in Alabama, time in the kitchen with my grandmother, making a meal.

My grandmother did an amazing job at making something as simple as canned meat feel like a royal experience. With her cast iron on hand and grease that sits on the stovetop from yesterday morning's bacon. Using her hands as a vehicle, guiding this dish from can to pan to plate always left me in awe. Salmon croquettes are just another staple in the southern black household where we used what we had to get the flavor in life that we want, using staples that most folks have on hand at all times: flour, eggs, onions. This is a meal of resistance and of survival.


1 14-oz can of pink salmon with bones removed
1/2 - 3/4 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup finely diced onion (We use the food processor; this was about 1/2 an onion for us)
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1 large egg
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (or as my granny calls it "woo-woo" sauce)
1/4 tsp your choice of seasoning salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (if you like it a bit spicy)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal, optional (you can omit or use flour if you prefer)
3/4 cup vegetable oil


In a large bowl, add salmon, flour, onion, green pepper, egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper and mix until well combined.

Add cornmeal to a plate and set aside.

Shape medium to small sized patties then carefully roll in cornmeal and set aside. (If you want to make them easier to work with, add to the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up more).

Add oil to the cast iron skillet and heat until oil reaches 375 degrees. Fry croquettes until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes on each side, and drain on paper towels then serve.

Image: Salmon Croquettes, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.


Rikkí Wright is a Photographer and Filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Her work explores notions of community and sisterhood, especially among women of color, and looks at the way a community can mold or expand our ideas of femininity and masculinity, strength and beauty. Wright grew up with two older sisters who were her best friends and her source of support through life's trials and tribulations, beginning with the loss of Wright's mother at the age of two. Her sisters taught her the power of having women by her side who she could be real with and depend on, and her work seeks to capture this sense of power. At the same time, she felt the void of her mother intensely, and her youth was marked by a constant sense of searching for examples of femininity and motherhood. At her grandmother's house, she would spend hours studying the poses and gestures of the women in the family portraits hanging on the walls. Wright's aunt was also a photographer, and she would accompany her aunt to the studio and marvel at the way women would command their bodies before the camera. Photography became a way for Wright to explore the void left by her mother, using the camera to imagine different possibilities for womanhood. As her art has evolved, Wright has sought to question the lines dividing femininity from masculinity and challenge traditional ideas of what masculine strength should look like. Wright has always gathered inspiration from the natural world, and her work is concerned with the way the environment and the individual shape each other. She is currently working on research for an upcoming documentary film.