Salmon tartar can be used as an appetizer, or it can be served as an entrée.
This delicious dish has been around since ancient times – at least that’s what we think!
While many people believe this dish originated from France, there are actually multiple countries where it is traditionally made.
The name “tartare” comes from the French word meaning “to mince meat finely,” which perfectly describes how this fish dish is prepared.
Salmon tartare makes use of a variety of fresh ingredients such as capers, lemon juice, dill, chives, horseradish, and more.
What Are The Ingredients In A Salmon Tartare Recipe?
If you look online, you will find hundreds of different recipes using all kinds of ingredients when making salmon tartare.
However, most of these recipes include things like eggs, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, etc., which isn’t necessary if you just want to whip up some tasty fish salad.
To create your own salmon tartare recipe, simply mix together the following items, then season with salt and pepper:
- 1 pound (454 g) raw salmon fillet
- ½ cup (120 mL) minced onion
- ¼ cup (60 mL) minced celery root
- ⅓ cup (75 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) mustard powder
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) kosher salt
- Dash of hot sauce
- Optional garnish: chopped parsley
How Do You Make Salmon Tartare?
In order to create this delectable dish, you will need some salmon fillets, shallots, lemon zest, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
You will also want to chop up some herbs like parsley, tarragon, chervil, and chives.
The most important ingredient is your favorite citrus fruit.
Lemon is generally preferred but other fruits like lime, orange, grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple, papaya, etc., work well too.
You should start by cutting off any excess fat on each piece of salmon.
Next, mix all of your ingredients together using a fork until they have combined into a paste-like consistency.
Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Serve with toast points or crackers.
What Is The Best Salmon Tartare Recipe?
When searching online for recipes for salmon tartare, you will find different methods with slightly varying amounts of ingredients.
Most of these recipes call for raw salmon (or other types of seafood) that is minced into very fine pieces.
The most popular method involves mixing together the minced fish with mayonnaise, mustard, and/or pickled vegetables in order to create a creamy sauce.
Some recipes also include anchovies, capers, onion, celery, parsley, pepper, and garlic.
If you want a recipe that uses only salmon, then try our recipe below instead.
You won’t need any additional ingredients because all of the flavors come directly from the salmon itself.
- 1 pound (450 g) fresh salmon fillet
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup (120 ml) mayonnaise
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
In addition to serving salmon tartare on its own, you can pair it with almost anything you desire.
Here are some ideas for pairing your next batch:
How Do You Serve Salmon Tartare?
This delicate dish pairs well with other foods like eggs, cheese, bread, crackers, vegetables, salads, or even dessert.
The choice is up to you and your guests.
However, most often, you will find salmon tartare in restaurants, especially when it comes time for brunch.
When preparing salmon tartare at home, you want to buy wild-caught Alaskan sockeye (also called king) salmon.
You can also try using Atlantic cod, but sockeye is typically favored by chefs due to its firm texture and mild flavor.
If you have never tried salmon tartare before, here is a quick guide on exactly how to prepare it.
- Start by adding 1/4 cup of mayonnaise into a food processor.
- Then add 2 teaspoons of sour cream and some salt and pepper.
- Next, pulse until smooth.
- Now, add minced chives and parsley along with 1 tablespoon of chopped capers.
- Finally, squeeze one whole lime over everything so it blends together nicely.
Once all of these steps are complete, transfer everything onto two plates and garnish each plate with additional chopped chive and parsley.
To finish off this salmon tartare recipe, top each serving with a few slices of avocado, pickled red onion, and hot sauce.
What Is The Origin Of Salmon Tartare?
It seems like every country in Europe has its own version of salmon tartare, but most people agree on one thing: it all started with a man named Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin who lived in Paris.
In his book The Physiology of Taste, he wrote about eating oysters, and said they were best when eaten raw.
He was right – raw oysters have a great taste, but cooked oysters lose their texture and become mushy.
When it came to cooking fish, however, he had nothing good to say.
He claimed that cooked fish tasted terrible because your body could not absorb any minerals from the water, so you end up getting mostly fat.
His words stuck, and the popularity of salmon tartare grew, especially after the invention of refrigeration.
Today, the best way to prepare salmon tartare is by using only fresh ingredients and no added salt, sugar, or fats.
There are over 20 different recipes out there, but here are three simple ones that I recommend everyone try:
- Classic Tartare Recipe (pictured above)
- Horseradish Mustard Sauce (pictured below)
- Cucumber Dill Salad
What Are Some Of The Variations Of Salmon Tartare?
There are several different types of salmon tartares out there, including versions with cream cheese, avocado, and mayonnaise.
The following recipes offer just a few examples of salmon tartare you might find in your local grocery store.
This traditional preparation uses only salt, pepper, and lemon juice, but it also includes mustard seeds (which give the dish its signature tang), chopped onions, pickled cucumbers, sliced radishes, and minced parsley.
Other popular additions include capers, sour cream, and cream cheese.
If you want to add a bit of spice to your salmon tartare, try using chili powder instead of plain salt and pepper.
You could even experiment by adding cayenne pepper if you like spicy food.
Another variation on the classic salmon tartare involves replacing regular table salt with sea salt.
Sea salts have minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, iodine, zinc, copper, manganese, nickel, chromium, and vanadium.
These trace elements help boost the immune system and protect against oxidative stress.
You can buy sea salts online and in most major supermarkets today.
If you don’t have access to these kinds of salts, then simply season your salmon tartare with ordinary table salt instead.
Here’s another idea for making salmon tartare healthier.
Instead of using butter or heavy cream, swap them out for olive oil.
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats which lower LDL cholesterol levels while increasing HDL cholesterol levels.
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which helps reduce inflammation throughout the body.
In addition, omega-3 fatty acids found in olive oil help prevent heart disease and stroke.
What Are Some Of The Common Accompaniments To Salmon Tartare?
When you look into recipes online or in cookbooks, you will see that salmon tartare typically contains a lot of different types of vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts, and even fruit.
There are also various sauces that go along with this dish.
The following list shows just a few of these options.
- Capers (or caponata) – These salty little pickled fruits have a mild but very distinctive taste.
- They are often paired with seafood.
- Dill – Dill is another popular herb that goes well with salmon tartare because its leaves and flowers both have a strong citrusy smell.
- Horseradish – Horseradish is a root vegetable that has a spicy, pungent flavor that pairs well with creamy dishes like this one.
- Lemon juice – Lemon juice adds brightness to any food, especially something as rich and flavorful as salmon.
- Mayonnaise – Mayonnaise is a key ingredient in most tartares.
- It provides a nice balance between acidity and richness.
- Mint – Mint is commonly added to tartares because it brings out the sweetness and creaminess of the salmon while balancing the spicier flavors of other ingredients.
- Parsley – Parsley is usually used as a garnish on top of a tartare, but it works really well when mixed up with mayo and spread onto bread before dipping.
- Rémoulade sauce – Rémoulade sauce is similar to hollandaise, but it uses mustard instead of vinegar to create a tangy yet sweet flavor.
- You can add this sauce to your tartare if you want extra spice.
- Scallions/spring onions – Scallions or spring onions are frequently used to add color and texture to salmon tartare.
- They work particularly well with capers and parsley.
- Sour cream – Sour cream helps bring out the subtlety of the salmon.
- If you don’t like sour cream, try using yogurt instead.
- Tarragon – Tarragon is a classic combination with salmon, so why not pair it with tartare too?
- Toasted walnuts – Toasted walnuts are a great addition to salmon tartare.
- Just sprinkle them over the mixture right after chopping all the ingredients.
- Vinegar – Vinegar is used to brighten up tartares.
- Don’t forget about apple cider vinegar, though, which adds a slightly sweeter flavor than white wine or rice vinegars.
How Long Does Salmon Tartare Last?
You can keep your salmon tartare in the refrigerator for up to three days after you have finished preparing it.
If you need to serve it sooner than that, you may want to freeze it first until it’s time to eat it.
If you do decide to freeze your salmon tartare, simply place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
You could also wrap each portion individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it into freezer bags.
When you remove them from the freezer, let them thaw completely before serving.
Tips for freezing salmon tartare
- Let frozen salmon tartare sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before eating so they will defrost faster when ready to serve.
- Keep frozen salmon tartare tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place the packages back in the freezer bag until needed.
- To easily reheat frozen salmon tartare, place one package directly in boiling water for 2-4 minutes, depending on desired doneness.
What Are Some Of The Tips For Making Salmon Tartare?
You should always start with high-quality salmon fillets.
If your salmon isn’t very fresh, it will taste terrible in this dish.
The best way to ensure your salmon is fresh is by purchasing it directly from your local grocery store.
You may also want to ask your butcher if they have any left over cuts of salmon that aren’t being sold right now.
When preparing your salmon, make sure to remove all visible bones before mincing it into small pieces.
Next, place your minced salmon on top of a bed of ice cubes in order to keep it cold until you’re ready to serve it.
When mixing up your salmon mixture, add one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice per pound of raw fish.
After adding the lemon juice, give everything a good stir so that none of the ingredients stick together.
Next, dice up your vegetables like onions, cucumbers, radishes, black olives, and pickles.
When it’s time to mix them all together, make sure that each ingredient is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Finally, season with salt and pepper according to your personal preference.
If you don’t have enough room in your fridge to keep all of these ingredients cool, then simply wrap your salmon tightly in plastic wrap and put it back in the freezer.
After freezing, take out your salmon and let it thaw completely.
Once it’s completely defrosted, slice off the skin and discard it.
Then, cut the rest of the salmon into bite-sized pieces.
Place the salmon back in the refrigerator while you prepare your sauce.
How Do You Know When Salmon Tartare Is Bad?
A good salmon tartare should have a firm texture but still feel tender enough to eat with your fingers.
The key ingredient in any great tartare is quality fish, so choose wild-caught salmon whenever possible.
Wild salmon has higher omega-3 fatty acid levels than farmed varieties.
If you want to get fancy, add avocado and/or sprouts on top of your tartare.
You may also like to serve it with crispy potato chips, celery sticks, or other garnishes depending on your preference.
- 1 ½ lb salmon skinless
- 4 tsp shallot finely chopped
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp chives finely chopped fresh
- 4 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
- 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
- 1 tbsp capers chopped
- 1 tsp Tabasco sauce to taste
- Ice cubes
- Fill a bowl halfway with ice cubes. Place another bowl on top. This keeps the fish cold during the preparation process.
- Cut the salmon into small dice with a knife and place in the chilled bowl as you go. Place in the refrigerator.
- Combine the shallots, vinegar, and water in a small bowl. Allow for a 5-minute marinade. Remove the shallots from the liquid and set aside.
- To the salmon, add the shallots and the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and toss well.
- Serve with a green salad, toasted bread, or homemade potato chips right away.