If using canned sockeye salmon, drain thoroughly. If using fresh cooked or leftover salmon, flake with two forks. If using raw salmon, remove the skin and bones, add to a food processor and process until finely ground.
Add all salmon patty ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine.
Using a half cup measure, press mixture firmly into cup, then tap out onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Press down gently to form patties about ¾ inch thick and 2 ½ inches in diameter.
Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. This step is important to prevent the patties from falling apart in the air fryer. If you're in a hurry, put them in the freezer for a few minutes.
Brush air fryer basket lightly with oil. Preheat air fryer to 390°F. for 3 minutes.
Brush one side of each patty with olive oil or avocado oil. Place oil-side down in the air fryer, then brush the other side with oil. Be sure not to overcrowd the basket. The hot air needs to circulate around the patties to make a crisp exterior
Air fry at 390°F. for 8 - 10 minutes. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached 145°F. To avoid scratching your air fryer basket, use a silicone lifter or spatula to remove the patties to a serving dish. You don't need to flip the burgers halfway through. The hot circulating air crisps the surface of the patties on both sides.
Stir together all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with salmon patties as a sauce to spoon on top of patties.
This recipe makes 8 patties, ½ cup each, about 2.5 inches in diameter. Make smaller one-inch patties for appetizer servings and serve with sauce for dipping. See notes in the blog post for how to freeze.To prevent salmon patties from falling apart follow the recipe exactly, press the mixture firmly together when forming the patties and chill the patties before air frying. Make sure to preheat the air fryer first. Brush both the basket and the salmon cakes with a small amount of oil to prevent sticking.