RECIPES:
Dec 27, 2021

How to Make Smoked Salmon Tartare

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
This smoked salmon tartare is served with homemade “everything bagel” crisps for dipping.

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While tartare typically refers to raw fish or meat, I use smoked salmon in this recipe and pair it with the same elements found in a French salmon tartare. To me this is comfort food! This recipe is inspired by a spin on the dish I had at Thomas Keller’s restaurant, Bouchon, a number of years ago. The cured fish retains the texture of the raw fish while making it a great option for those who don’t like raw fish or for those in areas where sushi-grade fish is inaccessible. 

How to Make Smoked Salmon Tartare

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Salmon – While smoked salmon is the blanket term for any salmon treated with cold or hot smoke, I use Gaspe Nova or (sometimes simply called Nova) smoked salmon in this recipe. In this style from Nova Scotia, the fish is first lightly cured then lightly smoked for the best silky texture. It’s fattier than other smoked salmon with a milder flavor so the accoutrements can shine. 
  • Herbs – I season the tartare with a combination of finely diced chives and chopped fresh dill. 
  • Shallots – Shallots have a mild, slightly sweet flavor. If needed, swap red onion for the shallots in this recipe.
  • Crème fraîche – I like the tangy, rich element crème fraîche adds to the salmon tartare. Easily substitute with sour cream if needed. 
  • Bagels – You can use any type of bagel for this recipe though I use an everything bagel for added flavor. Try swapping with a rye or plain bagel. The bagel is cut into rounds that are baked until crisp. 
  • Everything bagel seasoning – Everything bagel spice is the spice blend of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, minced onion and minced garlic that is added to the top of “everything bagels”. While the crisps can be served with a store bought spice mixture, I make my own. This recipe makes more than you will need so you can add it to anything from eggs to avocado toast or popcorn.

How to Make Smoked Salmon Tartare

Step 1: Make the everything bagel spice.

Heat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). In a small bowl stir together the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, onion powder and garlic powder then set aside.

Step 2: Bake the bagel crisps.

Add olive oil to a shallow bowl. Dip one side of each bagel round in the olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the everything bagel seasoning mixture evenly over the top. Bake the rounds until they are crisp, about 16 minutes. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Step 3: Stir the salmon mixture.

In a medium bowl stir together the salmon, olive oil, shallot and half the chives.

Step 4: Shape the salmon.

Use a 3” cookie cutter or biscuit cutter and pile the salmon inside to shape it. Carefully lift the cookie cutter off the salmon.

Step 5: Garnish and serve.

Top with the crème fraîche, remaining chives, dill and lemon zest. Serve with the bagel crisps on the side.

how to make smoked salmon tartare

How to Serve Smoked Salmon Tartare

  • For a shortcut, swap the homemade bagel chips with crostini or crackers
  • The bagel rounds can be made up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container or bag until ready to use. 
  • This recipe can be made classically with chopped sushi-grade salmon. If making this switch, ask your fishmonger for sushi grade fish. They should also be able to provide much more information about whether their salmon can be eaten raw.   
  • You can add 1 tablespoon of diced hard boiled egg to the mixture for a more classic version, though I prefer it without the eggs.
  • If not serving the salmon tartare right away then store in a small covered bowl or an airtight container for up to 2 days in advance. Garnish and serve as directed below.
  • Because the salmon is cured in salt, rather than choosing to season with salt and pepper I just finish it with a bit of fresh ground pepper.
  • For a bit more acidic tartare add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
how to make smoked salmon tartare

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How to Make Smoked Salmon Tartare

how to make smoked salmon tartare
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the everything bagel crisps:

  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon white sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 everything or plain bagel, cut into rounds

For the smoked salmon tartare:

  • 8 ounces Gaspe Nova smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced chives, divided
  • 1 tablespoon creme fraiche
  • 1 teaspoon diced fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions:

For the everything bagel crisps:

  • Heat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). In a small bowl stir together the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, onion powder and garlic powder then set aside.
  • Add olive oil to a shallow bowl. Dip one side of each bagel round in the olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the everything bagel seasoning mixture evenly over the top. Bake the rounds until they are crisp, about 16 minutes.
  • Let cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

For the smoked salmon tartare:

  • In a medium bowl stir together the salmon, olive oil, shallot and half the chives.
  • Use a 3” cookie cutter or biscuit cutter and pile the salmon inside to shape it. Carefully lift the cookie cutter off the salmon.
  • Top with the creme fraiche, remaining chives, dill and lemon zest. Serve with the bagel crisps on the side.

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