Simple ingredients for a quick inexpensive meal! These salty, crispy treats will kids and husbands begging for more! They can be air-fried for a healthier version or oven fried or just like granny made them, pan fried in a sizzling cast iron skillet. They can be eaten by hand, with a fork or in a sandwich!
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Heavy bottomed skillet, sheet pan or air fryer.
1 medium sized bowl
2eggsIf you don't have any eggs just add some extra mayo!
2tbspmayonnaiseYou can skip the mayo here if you'd like. Gran used Miracle Whip but we never buy it...
½cupsaltinesCrushed but not pulverized, roughly 1/2 cup.
12oztuna packed in waterStrained. You can use cans or pouches.
2tbspvegetable oilCoconut oil, or red palm oil works well, or use a little spray oil for air-frying. Gran may have used "bacon drippins'" or Crisco. Hers were very crispy!
1tspparsleyDried or fresh, chopped.
1tbsponionOr scallions, very finely minced.
¼tspblack pepperYou could also add a sprinkle of garlic powder or lemon pepper.
½cuppankoFor extra crispy crunchiness, coat the patties in panko crumbs! Season with salt & pepper, or any seasoning blend you like!
Add two eggs to a medium bowl and whisk with a fork.
Add mayonnaise to the bowl and stir. Add optional ingredients like finely minced fresh onions, black pepper and/or parsley or other seasoning. NOTE: If your saltines are good and salty, you won't need to add any salt.
Crush saltine crackers to fill a ½ cup measuring cup, and add to the bowl. Don't pulverize them, leave them chunky. TIP: If you are short on tuna and need to stretch the recipe, leave them chunky and add an additional ¼ cup.
Heat a heavy bottomed or cast iron pan to medium high. (Or prepare the air fryer or lightly oil a sheet pan to oven fry.)
Strain the tuna very well and add to the bowl. Mix everything together gently. Don't over mix or they will become very dense!
Form the mixture into about 8-12 patties. If you like them super crispy form 10-12 small, thinner patties. They will be moist, you will have to handle carefully and quickly to keep them from falling apart. (If you have time, try coating them in Panko before frying like I do my Salmon Cakes) I loved it when gran made them silver dollar sized for us.
Pan fry carefully in hot oil for about 3-5 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. Be careful, they will spatter in the hot oil a bit. Don't overcook or they'll be dense. You just want to brown and cook the eggs and onions. If you press with your finger they should spring back. If your finger leaves an indent, they are not quite done. (I found this thin spatula at an estate sale. I can't find anything as thin as the old spatulas except for fish spatulas!)
(If using an air fryer, spray the basket well and gently lay them in a single layer in the basket. Spray a little oil on their tops. Fry on high heat until browned on top, flip and spray a little ore oil on the second side and air fry a minute or two until they brown a bit. Not too long because they are also still cooking from the bottom in that hot air fryer!)
(If oven frying, bake about five minutes per side at 425° or until browned on the bottom and flip, then bake a few more minutes until browned on the second side.)
Serve with lemon zest, a squeeze of fresh lemon, in a sandwich, or with a fancy mayo or spiced yogurt. I like to mix homemade yogurt with Sriracha!
The calorie count is with 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil added. If you air fry or oven fry you will use much less! You can spray both sides with spray oil. If you haven't tried the new Reynolds Wrap non-stick aluminum foil, it works amazingly well for these recipes when you oven fry!
I've made these in my Instant Pot with my Mealthy Crisp Lid and they come out great! Especially if I roll them in Panko crumbs right before frying. If you don't have one, check it out on Amazon! I love it, and it works great for two people. If I'm making a larger batch, I pan fry or oven fry.
These also are wonderful with Ritz or butter crackers, or even plain bread crumbs, but the saltine crackers really make these awesome!
When/if we have these leftovers, I make sandwiches with thin-sliced bread, these Heinz Sweet & Spicy Pickle Chips, and some mayo or homemade yogurt spiced up with Sriracha. (BTW, if you use as much Sriracha as I do, consider buying it from Boxed - $3.29 for a 28 oz bottle! Use their app or go to boxed.com.