Every year when Christmas comes around I’ll be on the lookout for an appetizer that is super easy to make, tastes delicious and is a crowd pleaser. You can stop looking, because this salmon tartare is the perfect dish!

Salmon tartare with arugula oil

Every year when Christmas comes around I’ll be on the lookout for an appetizer that is super easy to make, tastes delicious and is a crowd pleaser. You can stop looking, because this salmon tartare is the perfect dish!

Making the salmon tartare cannot be more straight forward. You only need a handful of ingredients and while you can chop the salmon by hand a food processor would be a handy thing to have. What goes into the salmon tartare is:

  • salmon fillets
  • smoked salmon
  • chives or green onion
  • lemon juice or lime juice
  • crème fraîche

To make the salmon tartare I love also adding an arugula oil which is also very easy to make but will make the dish stand out. Both in terms of the color and in terms of flavor.

Things to keep in mind for making the salmon tartare

First of all the most important thing is that you use a really fresh salmon. You’re eating raw fish for this tartare recipe so you want that to be super fresh. If you go to your fish monger make sure to tell them that you’ll be eating it raw. Ask for sushi-grade fish and you’ll be good to go.

Once you have all the ingredients for the recipe you start by making the arugula oil. That needs a little bit of time to develop the flavors. Usually around an hour is enough. The funny thing with the oil is that is doesn’t taste all that good when you first make it in the food processor, but after that hour it’s delicious. And paired with the raw salmon it is perfect. The smooth texture of the tartare goes really well with the bitterness of the arugula.

Salmon tartar with arugula oil

Mix of smoked salmon and raw salmon

While a lot of tartare recipes use only fresh salmon, this recipe uses both smoked salmon in combination with raw salmon fillets. Because of the saltiness of the smoked salmon you do not need extra salt. Or at least I didn’t add any extra salt to the recipe. You can add some black pepper if you like and optionally you can add some dijon mustard as well. That will work nicely with the salmon too.

I chop both of them roughly and place into the food processor. Mix it briefly. You don’t want it to become a paste. It is fine if there are still some chunks of salmon in the mix. Place it into a mixing bowl and add the creme fraiche and maybe a drizzle of olive oil if you feel it needs a little extra. You can add mustard as mentioned but also a little splash of worcestershire sauce will do nicely. Some fresh herbs will finish the job.

Salmon tartare with arugula oil

Plating the salmon tartare

For the plating of the tartare I use a round cookie cutter of approximately 10 cm wide. I place it in the middle of the serving board and add some of the salmon into it. Then press it down with a spoon so it becomes firm enough to hold it’s shape. Remove the cookie cutter and go on to the next plate.

It helps to brush the cookie cutter with olive oil so the salmon slides out easily. I added fresh chives to the salmon tartare but you can also use fresh dill if you want.

The creme fraiche can be replaced by cream cheese but that will also make it slightly heavier. You can serve the salmon tartare with crispy crackers, toast or tortilla chips.

If you want the tartare to have more Asian flavors you can add some soy sauce and maybe a little splash of coconut milk. A small bit of lemon grass will also give it a more asian vibe.

Salmon tartar with arugula oil | insimoneskitchen.com

Can I replace the creme fraiche?

Yes you can. I have also made this salmon tartare several times with mayonaise instead of creme fraiche. That will also make it paleo proof and perfect if you have someone coming over that is lactose intolerant.

Can I prepare the salmon tartare in advance?

You definitely can. Just keep it in the fridge until ready to serve. Keep the arugula oil outside of the fridge for better flavor. You can already plate the salmon tartare upfront. Just keep the extra’s for the top until the last minute.

You can also try this delicious steak tartare.

Salmon tartare with arugula oil
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Salmon tartar with arugula oil

Delicious and super easy and festive starter
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 people


  • 25 gr arugula rocketsalad
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 500 gr salmon filet
  • 300 gr smoked salmon
  • 1 lemon
  • 200 ml creme fraiche
  • 15 gr chive finely chopped


  • Remove the thicker stems from the arugula and put it in the food processor. While the machine is turning add the oil slowly.
  • Put the oil away for about an hour at room temperature, add salt afterward to taste.
  • Chop the salmon filet and smoked salmon in cubes. Make 8 thin slices from the lemon and squeeze the rest. Mix both salmon types with lemon juice, creme fraiche and about 3/4 of the chives. Cover and keep refrigerated until you use it.
  • Put the form on a plate and fill with 1/8 of the salmon mixture. With the back of a spoon press it firmly. Remove the ring. Put a slice of lime on the salmon and some of the chives. Drip the arugula-oil around the salmon and serve.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Festive
Keyword: salmon
Diet: Gluten free, Low carb

Nutrition Information

Calories: 380kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 348mg, Potassium: 408mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 216IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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