Fresh Salmon Tartare with Avocado is a refreshing, sophisticated, and vibrant appetizer. Quick to prepare using sushi-grade raw salmon, avocado, herbs, and a light dressing, this elegant dish is sure to be a hit!Jump to Recipe
The best salmon tartare appetizer
Have you had the pleasure of eating raw fish before? Don’t be intimidated; it’s a delicacy for good reason! Not only is it a popular choice in Japanese cuisine, like sushi and poke bowls, but it’s safe to eat and completely delicious.
If you’re a fan of raw fish or new to trying it, you’ll be sure to love this Fresh Salmon Tartare with Avocado. Just like ceviche or classic steak tartare, the flavors are decadent and rich. You won’t believe how easy it is to make either!
This surprisingly simple appetizer is exploding with flavor thanks to a mix of raw salmon, avocado, shallots, chives, and a few other flavor enhancers. You can serve it before your dinner party or put out a bowl at your next cocktail party. The vibrant flavors, rich avocado, and tender salmon get even better when spread onto crackers, bread, and cucumbers.
Disclaimer: Always prepare this recipe with fresh, high-quality salmon. Serve it immediately and do not make it ahead of time. It is advised that pregnant women should not eat raw meat. Visit foodsafety.gov to learn more about food safety.
What is salmon tartare?
Most people may think of beef tartare when they hear “tartare”, but the term is used to refer to all raw meat and fish. Salmon tartare is made with finely chopped sushi-grade raw salmon and flavor enhancers, such as shallots, avocado, cucumber, fresh herbs, or citrus juice. It’s best served as an appetizer or snack and spread onto crackers, bread, cucumbers, or potato chips.
- Salmon – As with any raw fish recipe (like salmon sashimi and poke), you’ll need to find very fresh, sushi-grade salmon. Choose a wild-caught boneless and skinless filet if possible or go with smoked salmon instead. If the salmon comes with skin on the bottom, carefully cut it off before chopping or ask the fishmonger to do it for you.
- Avocado – Cubed avocado will help the salmon tartare taste nice and creamy. Don’t use an overripe avocado as this can spoil the fish.
- Shallots – Shallots are tart, slightly sweet, and crisp. If you don’t have any, use red onion instead.
- Capers – This briny member of the olive family compliments the fish so well.
- Chives – Fresh chives are best.
- Flavor enhancers – A little olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and salt help the salmon tartare shine.
How to make salmon tartare
- Prepare the salmon and avocado: Cut the salmon into cubes and place it into a mixing bowl with the chopped avocados, shallots, chives, and capers.
- Add the rest of the ingredients: Add the oil, lemon juice, mustard, and salt into the bowl. Toss to combine.
- Serve and enjoy: Serve the tartare in a bowl with chips or toasted baguette slices on the side for dipping. Enjoy!
Tips and variations
- Place the salmon in the freezer for 20 minutes beforehand so it’s easier to slice.
- If fresh salmon not available? Replace it with sushi-grade fatty tuna to make tuna tartare instead. You can also use smoked salmon instead.
- Serve the tartare in a bowl with potato chips, toasted bread (like crostini), crackers, or cucumbers on the side for dipping or spreading.
More salmon tartare mix-ins
Think of this salmon tartare recipe as a blank canvas. You can play with the flavors by adding all kinds of mix-ins, like:
- Caviar or fish row
- Red onion
- Sesame seeds
- Soy sauce
- Fresh mango
- Lime juice and zest
- Sesame oil
- Fresh ginger
Frequently asked questions
Salmon that is labeled SUSHI GRADE will be safe to use in a salmon tartare recipe. The FDA requires all sushi-grade fish to be frozen before it’s sold to ensure any unwelcome bacteria or parasites are killed off. When shopping for sushi-grade fish, make sure to talk to your local fishmonger to ensure the fish has been frozen first.
Yes! Not only is salmon a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, but the fresh vegetables and dressing keep the dish light and healthy.
No, salmon tartare should be served as soon as it’s assembled in the bowl. The citrus juice will actually cook the fish as it sits and change the color. If you really need to save time, chop all of the ingredients ahead and keep them in separate containers in the fridge until it’s time to eat.
Unfortunately, there is no way to store leftover salmon tartare. It must be eaten fresh.
More salmon recipes you’ll love
- Low Carb Beet and Dill Cured Salmon
- Salmon en Papillote with Potatoes
- Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
- Salmon Patties with Homemade Tartar Sauce
If you give this Fresh Salmon Tartare with Avocado a try, let me know in the comments below. I love seeing your pictures too, so please tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog and use #lenaskitchenblog so I can share them to my page!
Fresh Salmon Tartare with Avocado
- ½ lb salmon boneless and skinless, finely chopped (buy high quality salmon)
- 2 tablespoons shallot finely chopped
- ½ small avocado finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers chopped
- 1 tablespoon chives finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt more to taste
- Prep the salmon by thinly slicing it lengthwise into 1/8″-wide sheets. Cut each sheet into 1/8″-long strips. Cut strips crosswise into 1/8″ cubes. Place salmon in a medium mixing bowl.
- Finely chop the avocado to match the size of the salmon, chop the shallots, chives, and capers, add to the bowl.
- Add olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and salt. Gently toss together. Adjust any seasoning. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, transfer salmon tartare to a bowl and serve with chips or serve on a plate with toasted baguette or slices of cucumbers for a low carb option. Add a few slices of lemons, top with some extra chives and enjoy.