Salmon tartare is such a lovely, elegant appetizer with delicate flavors. It's light, pretty healthy & easy to prepare. Perfect for date night and entertaining.
This post may contain affiliate links, where we earn from qualifying purchases. See more details in the policy page.
I'm sure we all have them: dishes that we associate with particular places, and sometimes even a particular meal. Some are more obvious like paella in Spain or smørrebrød (Danish open sandwiches) in Denmark. Others less so.
Salmon tartare is a dish that brings back memories of being in Geneva for me. Despite the fact that the name sounds fancy, it's actually really easy to prepare and makes a fantastic light appetizer.
My husband's work takes him to Geneva now and then, and more so when we were in London. One time when that was in the winter, before we had kids, it seemed only right to tag along and go skiing, as well as explore the city.
Geneva is not exactly cheap and it's not that big either, despite being well known. There are a good number of restaurants for the size but it's not particularly diverse: steak, pizza and a small handful of more ethnically diverse options. But as long as you are good with that, you can get some decent food.
Being right next to France, as well as actual steak, steak tartare was also very common, and many places had salmon tartare as well. One night we went to a lovely little restaurant in the old town and had both, along with a steak for main, naturally.
It was all delicious, but I think the salmon tartare is what stuck with me the most. It was light, fresh and delicious.
It's really easy to make as all you do is finely chop some salmon and mix in a few things as flavoring. Some people go for Asian flavors, but I like the classic French style with Dijon mustard, capers, lemon and a little chives and onion.
See how it's made in the short video!
Unlike ceviche, the fish doesn't 'cook' in the lemon/lime juice, but common to both, you want really good quality, really fresh fish.
How to serve this dish
This is typically served as an appetizer and since the flavors are relatively delicate, you want to make sure you don't overpower it. Some small pieces of toast are a common side and perfect to help scoop up pieces of the fish.
A really simple, light salad is also good - go for mostly greens such as arugula/rocket and shaved asparagus or fennel. A French vinaigrette as a dressing would work well and is a much better flavor match than, say, balsamic or a heavier and/or creamy dressing.
Salmon tartare is such a lovely, elegant appetizer with delicate flavors. It's light and pretty healthy, but also quick and easy to prepare. Keep it in mind for your next dinner party or date night, and you'll be sure to enjoy.
Enjoy easy raw dishes? Try these!
- Beef carpaccio (thinly sliced beef with a simple truffle oil dressed salad)
- Scallop ceviche (scallops 'cooked' with lime and chili)
- Tuna tataki (lightly seared tuna with a simple soy-based dressing)
- Salmon poke bowl (Hawaiian-style simple dressed fish with rice and garnishes)
Plus be sure to get some inspiration from these appetizer recipes.
- ¼ lb salmon very fresh, sushi grade
- ½ tablespoon capers in brine, drained
- ½ tablespoon finely chopped chives
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped onion red onion or shallot best but others OK
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice approx
- salt and pepper
- Remove the skin, any fatty pieces and the grey flesh between the pink and the skin from the salmon. Finely slice and then finely dice the salmon.
- Roughly chop the capers and add them, along with the chives, mustard, onion, lemon and a little salt and pepper to the salmon. Mix all together well. The mixture is best chilled at this point for around 20-30min, so cover and put in the fridge. You can, however, also serve straight away.
- When ready to serve, use a plating mould or just a medium-large cookie/scone cutter or crumpet ring and press into the mould. Carefully remove the mould so it stands in a short cylinder. You could also fill a small, shallow bowl/dish then turn it over on to a plate. Serve immediately.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
See more seafood ideas:
- Grilled Baby Octopus by Food Lust People Love
- Manhattan Clam Chowder by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Smoked Salmon, Orange and Avocado Salad by Sprinkles and Sprouts
- One Pan Mustard Crusted Halibut and Vegetables by Pies and Plots
- Pecan Crusted Cod by From the Bookshelf
- Scallops with Orange Butter Sauce by My savory spoon
- Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo by The Freshman Cook
- Shrimp Salad Sandwich by Soulfully Made
- Soft Shell Salmon Tacos with Mango Salsa by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Teriyaki Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa by Wholistic Woman