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French salmon tartare

This mouthwatering recipe for salmon tartare is a French variation made with raw salmon, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, whole grain French Dijon mustard, parmesan, and basil. This post was contributed by Lucas Delmas.

French salmon tartare recipe

In my family and social circles, we like to make this salmon tartare appetizer. In addition to being quick and very tasty, you get to experience the same freshness and silky texture as its beef counterpart. While the main ingredient differs, other parts of this dish are also distinct, as we will explore in this recipe.

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Salmon tartare with parmesan and basil

There is sometimes apprehension in eating meat or seafood which is raw (of course you should always avoid raw fish/meat if you have been advised to do so by your doctor or if you have any doubts please consult your doctor first). Naturally, the freshness of your ingredients is very important.

French style salmon tartare

Other ways to pick a great piece of raw salmon include checking for a fresh scent, as well as a relatively firm consistency to the touch. Wild king salmon tops the list as one of the best options for salmon tartare due to its amazing silky texture. However request the freshest option that is available and choose a section that is fully de-boned to make the preparation easier.

Ingredients for salmon tartare

Laylita’s taste testing notes: I’ll admit that I was a little bit skeptical about adding whole grain mustard and parmesan to a salmon tartare, but it worked very well. I especially loved the contrast that of those tiny bits of texture and flavor from the whole grain mustard with the salmon.

Salmon tartare with whole grain French mustard
French salmon tartare recipe

French salmon tartare

Easy recipe for a mouthwatering French salmon tartare appetizer, made with fresh raw salmon, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, whole grain French Dijon mustard, parmesan, and basil.
4.91 from 22 votes
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: European, French, International
Keyword: Fish tartare, French salmon tartare, salmon tartare
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Author: Lucas Delmas


  • 12 oz fresh raw salmon
  • 1 tbs whole grain French mustard (ideally moutarde à l’ancienne)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce (if you don’t have this sauce, use soy sauce as a replacement)
  • Fresh parmesan grated
  • Fresh basil chopped


  • Cut the salmon into small squares.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add the diced salmon, the olive oil and the whole grain mustard. Mix well and let the olive oil coat the salmon, then add the Worcestershire sauce.
  • Mix in some of the grated parmesan and the chopped basil. Save some for garnishing.
  • Taste a small piece of the salmon tartare and based on your preference add more of the condiments if needed.
  • You can use a food ring mold (or a round cookie/pastry cutter) or a ramekin to help serve the salmon tartare in perfect round form.  For the mold, place it on the plate where you will serve the tartare, then fill it with the tartare while gently pressing down to make sure there aren’t any gaps. If using a ramekin fill it with the tartare, press lightly and reverse it unto the serving plate. 
  • Serve the salmon tartare inmediately topped with extra parmesan and basil. You can also serve with crusty pieces of bread or crostini.


Since you are using raw fish it is important to do the chopping carefully, but as quickly as possible.
If needed you can cut the salmon ahead of time, mix if it with the olive oil and mustard grains. Let it rest refrigerated (covered tightly with plastic wrap) until ready to serve, then add in the Worcestershire sauce, parmesan, and basil.
Salmon tartare - French style

A little bit more info about salmon:

If there is a myth to debunk about salmon, it is the belief that the brighter colored it is, the more fresh it is. However, the color of fresh salmon can vary based on many factors including the waters where it lived – Atlantic vs Pacific o even North Pacific like Alaska vs Pacific South American salmon can look very different. Just in the PNW region of the US there are many varieties from the highly prized King or chinook salmon, to sockeye (known for its natural bright red color), coho, pink and chum salmon.

Salmon tartare recipe

 Even the Alaskan King salmon can sometimes have white flesh, apparently 1 out of 20 will have white instead of pink flesh. It’s known as Ivory King salmon and it’s usually a big deal when featured as a restaurant special – and even bigger deal when you find it available at your local grocery store . Salmon are considered anadromous fish, because they can live in both salt and freshwater – they basically are born in freshwater rivers, then travel to the ocean and live there most of their adult lives.   They return to spawn in freshwater and usually die shortly after.

Salmon tartare

Step by step preparation photos for French salmon tartare:

How to make French salmon tartare
French salmon tartare

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  1. I guess I could eat a tone of this salmon tartare. It’s awesome! I absolutely adore this combination of parmesan and salmon… Flawless! This is a perfect appetizer for a festive dinner on New Year’s Eve. I’m gonna cook it tomorrow – we’re literally fed up with usual Christmas and New Year’s Eve dishes. Just dreaming about something light if tasty.
    I’m grateful you shared such a wonderful recipe for salmon. Can’t wait to try!
    Your blog is amazing – I absolutely love it. I’ve added many recipes to bookmarks. Can’t stand the yumminess of them, especially your passion fruit mousse – this is a blast!
    Keep it up! I wish you many fantastic ideas in 2020! Happy New Year!

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