Jan 23

Salmon Tartare with Fresh Cucumbers and Avocado


Salmon Tartare




Still on my salad quest, and today I present a rather fancy-schmancy option that may or may not be to everyone’s liking. It features raw fish … lots of raw fish … as the main ingredient, accompanied by diced cucumbers, avocados, red onions and finished off with a simple drizzle of olive oil, wasabi creme fraiche, fresh herbs and caviar. Ooooh, posh indeed.



I first saw a recipe similar to this one being done by Michel Roux Jr. on YouTube and ever since I have been meaning to give it a go. Seemed simple enough, I thought I could definitely do this … but of course I got sidetracked and never got round to it (like that’s a surprise). But seeing as which I am on a self-inflicted salad roadtrip this month, my good friend Kerry and I have been conferring as to what’s best to feature on the blog. Discussing food with Kerry is always a good idea coz she lives with a French chef, therefore food ideas just fall off the tip of her tongue. She speaks my language … she speaks foooooood … any time of day, be it two in the afternoon or two in the morning. So she concurs with me on this one, salmon tartare it’s gonna be. Never made one before, but with a little bit of faith I think I can pull it off. I feel ready for this one.



So the concept is to form the tartare, cucumbers and avocado into a timbale using a chef’s ring, then top it off with a dollop of creme fraiche and caviar. I’d have liked to add some kick to the creme fraiche like Michel Roux Jr. did but I cannot seem to find horseradish sauce in the store. Therefore I added some wasabi … which is essentially the same thing, just green. Not a lot of it, mind. Don’t want to blaze a trail up your nostrils; just enough to compliment the relatively sedate flavours we’ve got going. On the side I’ve got some rocket leaves but they don’t play any major role in this dish other than to stand in as garnish. Finally, taking a leaf out of chef Roux’s demo, I added a couple of thin Melba toasts for crunch. No gold leaf flourish on top of the caviar (even tho I have gold leaf in the pantry).





– 400 g very fresh salmon fillet

– 1 avocado

– ½ cucumber

– 1 red onion

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– fresh dill

– fresh chives

– rocket leaves

– creme fraiche

– wasabi paste

– salt & pepper

Salmon Tartare1 (640x443)



First, dice the avocado and cucumber into small cubes. Then dice the salmon into relatively the same size as the other two components. Place into a bowl and season with salt and pepper and olive oil. Toss to coat. Finely chop some red onion and snip some dill and add this to the mix as well. Add a tiny squeeze of lemon juice just to liven up the flavours. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins, along with the plate you will be serving on.


After 30 mins, place a pastry ring in the center of the chilled plate and fill with the mixture. Compress gently, then lift the ring off, leaving the timbale nice and tall.


Arrange rocket leaves around the plate. Mix wasabi and dill into some creme fraiche and season with salt. Place a dollop on top of the timbale, followed by a scoop of caviar.


Decorate with sprigs of dill and chopped chives. Drizzle with olive oil. Place Melba toasts on the side and it’s ready to serve immediately.




Salmon Tartare4




This was my first attempt, so I may have messed up in the plating department. I realized the minute I spread the creme fraîche over the top of the timbale I had made a huge mistake. I considered freezing the entire thing before pulling the ring off, but I did not know how the avocados and cucumber would take that. Couple that with less than desirable lighting today (I have issues balancing light settings on my camera, coz I am stupid like that) … so most, if not all, my pictures look wishy-washy and grey.




Salmon Tartare5




The actual food itself however, tasted amazing!  I was right to mix wasabi into the creme fraîche; it really upped the flavour dimension ten fold … just be careful how much you add. Always safer to add a little at a time than to dump in a whole lump of wasabi, only to regret it later. I could have cut the salmon and stuff smaller too … neaten up the plate and the look of everything. Well, all self criticism aside I believe I did quite alright. Presentation might look a little wonky, but it sure as hell tasted really good. For the squeamish perhaps you can try slicing the fish thinner and don’t add so much of it into the cucumber-avocado mix.




Salmon Tartare2



Another serving suggestion would be to serve the tartare loose in a chilled glass á la prawn cocktail, or in one of those fancy amuse bouche receptacles … luv ’em. Serve with plenty of melba toasts on hand.



~ Enjoy! ~




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