Salmon Tartare

April 28, 2011


Salmon Tartare

I’ve been enjoying the luxury of a few days off, taking full advantage of the fact that I can wander up to the fishmonger whenever I damn well feel like it. Yesterday, I craved something light but still a bit special; salmon tartare seemed to fit the bill.

I’ve long been of the opinion that salmon is best eaten raw. It has such a firm, silky texture and a clean flavour. When heat is applied, there is a very fine line between perfectly semi-translucent flakes and minging mush. This recipe is of course a fishy variation on beef tartare. The flavours are pretty much the same; tangy ingredients like capers and gherkins, herbs, onion and Tabasco all go as well with salmon as they do with beef, although you’ll want to skip the standard raw egg yolk. With fish, I think it’s nicer to cut chunks rather than mincing it quite small as you would with meat.

This is a lovely way to eat salmon in the summer when you want something cool and refreshing or can’t bear the thought of heat from a grill. Just make sure to buy your fish from a good fishmonger and let them know you’ll be eating it raw; although the citrus juice will partly cook the fish, you want the freshest piece possible.

I sometimes do an Asian twist on this, swapping lemon for lime juice and using shallot, chilli, coriander, soy and sesame oil. If you try this variation, mackerel works really well in place of salmon.

Salmon Tartare

(feeds 1 greedy person)

200g salmon fillet, skinned (make sure to check with the fishmonger that it can be eaten raw)
1/2-1 teaspoon red onion or shallot, very finely chopped
1/2 – 1 teaspoon capers, very finely chopped
1/2 – 1 teaspoon parsley, very finely chopped
1 small gherkin, very finely chopped
A squeeze of lemon juice
A few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
A few shakes of Tabasco
Salt and pepper

Chop the salmon into small chunks. Mix in all the other ingredients then cover and let sit for about 10 minutes. Stir again and serve with toasted rye or other bread. You may want to add more condiments after tasting.


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  • Avatar
    Reply Chris April 28, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Looks ace. Is some salmon not suitable for eating raw then? If I’d have got some shitty salmon and made this with it and killed myself it could have been YOUR FAULT.

  • Avatar
    Reply shayma April 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    i am in full agreement w you- i adore raw salmon. i like your salmon a la beef tartare recipe. x shayma

  • Avatar
    Reply Helen April 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Chris – It needs to be sashimi-grade, basically. Just really, really fresh. Don’t go and buy any from the supermarket and make this, you’ll probably die, or something.

    Shayma – Thanks Shayma x

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    Reply Paul April 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Works well with Tuna and I’ve had a Scallop Tartare before which was mighty fine! That said… I’m still all about the Beef, this looks lush tho :^)

  • Avatar
    Reply Helen April 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Paul – ooh yeah love a bit of tuna tartare and raw scallop is even sweeter than cooked I reckon. Yum.

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    Reply Lizzie April 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    DRIBBLE! Sounds and looks delicious.

    If only I had the time to visit the fishmonger; oh why must they close so early?

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    Reply Ruth April 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    This looks just like my kind of food! Yum!

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    Reply Robert April 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Mmm love salmon. But I usually use a ceviche recipe to prepare this. But I’ve eaten supermarket counter salmon without any ill effects. Not that I’m suggesting you should do the same!

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    Reply Krista May 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    If you don’t write the “food on toast” book, I will!!

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    Reply Hannah May 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious! I’ve had raw salmon, but never made (I nearly said cooked!) it myself, so this has inspired me! Thank you.

    Hannah @ Love to Dine

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    Reply Jennifer July 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I just made this, and it is ACE. A whole world of tartare-ing possibilities has now opened up before me. So thank you! x

  • Avatar
    Reply Helen July 6, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Fabulous! So glad you enjoyed it and thank you for letting me know! x

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