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Salmon tartare

Following the shrimp salad, this appears to be second in an inadvertent series of seafood concoctions to serve on bread. Not on purpose, not really. But faced with a large filet of fresh salmon, and a desire to try making something at home with raw fish… You get the picture. 🙂

salmon tartare on toastSalmon tartare with chives, lemon zest and horseradish cream, on toasted whole wheat.

Unlike ceviche where something acidic (e.g., citrus juice, vinegar) chemically cooks the protein, the tartare is served uncooked, like poke or carpaccio —so no acid is used, except in small amounts in the garnish. This recipe makes a generous amount to serve 2 people as a main dish, or 3 to 4 people as a starter.

I could try this with ahi, but it’s not one of my top choices. This kind of dish works with rich, oily fish, so I wonder which white fish would go well in a tartare…

For the tartare

  • 6 to 8 ounces fresh, sashimi-grade salmon
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced scallions, onions or chives
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, garlic oil, sesame oil or other flavored oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon or lime zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • (optional) minced basil, parsley or tarragon


  • chopped avocado with lime or lemon juice
  • crème fraîche, yogurt, and/or mayo, mixed with horseradish, wasabi and/or mustard
  • toast, crackers, chips


  1. Rinse the salmon under cold water and pat dry. Remove any skin or bones, then dice it into small pieces, about 1/4 to 1/2 inches.
  2. Stir together the salmon, scallions (or other allium), oil and lemon zest in a bowl (preferably glass or ceramic).
  3. Season with salt and pepper, add minced herbs if desired, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors to infuse. Overnight is fine if the fish is particularly fresh.
  4. When ready to serve, stir in the lemon juice and herbs, if desired. If using avocado, stir it in as well. If using a creamy sauce, apply dollops to each serving. Eat the tartare with something crunchy and/or toasty.

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