Homemade Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is probably the number one sauce people love to see sidled up to their seafood.  Its tangy flavor and creamy yet interesting consistency make it the perfect pairing to all kinds of fish and seafood dishes, from shrimp cocktail to fried oysters to broiled salmon.

Tartar Sauce

What is Tartar Sauce?

Tartar sauce is a mayonnaise-based sauce blended with capers, dill pickles, onions or shallots, lemon juice and other herbs and seasonings. It’s traditionally served with fish and seafood, particularly fried fish and seafood, but can also be paired with other foods.  Some versions have capers or olives added – here we go with capers, as well as fresh tarragon, plus a bit of Dijon mustard.  Dill can also be used in place of the tarragon.

Some recipes call for bottle sweet pickle relish, and you won’t go wrong with that.  However, in this recipe you take one extra minute to chop up cornichons, or baby sweet pickles, which means that you have a fresher, zinger tartar sauce. Often relish is made with sugar or additives, so you can avoid that.  

Tartar Sauce

Why Do It Called Tartar Sauce?

The etymology of the name tartar sauce is a bit unclear.  The origin of the sauce is France, where the sauce was named for the Tartars, and there may be a connection to steak tartar, which was sometimes served with a sauce like this one.  The Tatars (another spelling option) were a group of people who settled in the Ukraine and parts of Russia. Apparently they introduced the concept of steak tartar, raw meat finely chopped, mixed with egg, and paired with this mayo-based sauce.

Tartar Sauce: Creamy and tangy this is the perfect pairing to all kinds of fish and seafood dishes.

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What to Serve with Tartar Sauce:

You can use this sauce in so many ways! It doesn’t last long, so make sure you find something to pair any leftover sauce  with! Other than seafood dishes, it goes well with all kind of vegetable dishes. Try it with fried zucchini coins!

Crab Cakes

Another way to serve tartar sauce is to spread it on baguette slices and float the bread in a seafood or fish stew.  

How to Make Easy Tartar Sauce

In a small bowl add the the mayonnaise, lemon juice, cornichons, scallions, capers, mustard, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Tartar Sauce

Mix well to blend. 

Tartar Sauce

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Tartar Sauce

With its tangy flavor and creamy consistency this is the perfect pairing to all kinds of fish and seafood dishes.
Yield: 6 People
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced cornichons (baby gherkin pickles)
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained and minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  • In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, cornichons, scallions, capers, mustard, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 284mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 58IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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