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Salmon Tartare with Red Onion Creme Fraiche: A Great Party Appetizer Recipe

Updated on June 15, 2012
Thanks to my friend Michelle who made this appetizer for her dinner party and sent me the photo.
Thanks to my friend Michelle who made this appetizer for her dinner party and sent me the photo. | Source

This is a great little appetizer that is is easy to make. It looks very colorful–especially when garnished with black sesame seeds. It’s very tasty, and it has a creamy texture with crunch on the bottom. It’s one of my favorite party appetizers to make because it’s also easy to re-produce on a larger scale. As an added bonus, the salmon tartar can be prepared up to 12 hours before serving, if you need to spread out the labor.


Salmon Tartar

  • 4 ounce salmon filet (belly preferred), skin and bones removed
  • 3/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon-infused olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced chives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Small pinch of white pepper

Red Onion Creme Fraiche

  • 1 tablespoon red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch of white pepper

To Serve and Garnish

  • Black Sesame Seeds
  • Chives, cut into 1/2 long pieces
  • Cars Water Crackers or Nut-thins Nut Crackers (to make it gluten-free)


  1. With a sharp knife, finely mince the salmon. The smaller the pieces the better.
  2. Stir in the remaining tartar ingredients.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
  4. Place the red onions in a small strainer and rinse under cold water for several seconds and pat dry with a paper towel.
  5. In a small metal bowl, whisk the creme fraiche for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This fluffs the texture of the creme fraiche to make it lighter and airier.
  6. Fold in the onions and season to taste with the salt and white pepper. At this point, You can transfer the creme fraiche to an airtight container and store for up to 6 hours, if necessary.
  7. Assemble by spreading 1/2 teaspoon of the creme fraiche onto the cracker. Top with ~1/2 teaspoon of salmon tartar. Garnish the top with a few black sesame seeds and a short stem of a chive sticking from the top.

How Not To Screw It Up

  1. Use a sharp knife. I mean really sharp. The sharper the better! Even a slightly less than sharp knife is going to make torn and beaten salmon. Yuck! Sharp. Get them sharpened if you must. Besides, the sharper the knife, the less likely you are to cut yourself with it because you have to apply inappropriate amounts of pressure to make the knife cut through food. Sharp! Really sharp!
  2. Don’t get cheap or lazy and substitute sour cream because it’s easier to find than creme fraiche. Every store has creme fraiche, take the time to study the shelves to find it, and pay the extra bit of money. Sour cream is to overpowering for the delicate salmon.
  3. Using white pepper is necessary in this dish. If you get lazy and use ground black pepper, it looks like dirt in your pristine, white creme fraiche under your delicately minced salmon. Your guests will not eat dirt.

Tried this Recipe? Rate It.

4.3 stars from 3 ratings of Salmon Tartar with Red Onion Creme Fraiche


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    • MickiS profile image

      MickiS 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Peggy, they're definitely worth the effort to get. Black sesame seeds add nice visual pop to dishes. Enjoy the appetizer. It's one of the few ways that I like a salmon (a fish that I'm otherwise indifferent to when cooked).

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We love salmon and are always on the lookout for pretty as well as delicious appetizers and this looks like a winner on both accounts. Can't wait to try it! Thanks! Will have to get some black sesame seeds. Have never used them but have read other recipes that call for them and they would add visual interest as well as flavor. Up and useful votes!

    • MickiS profile image

      MickiS 5 years ago from San Francisco

      It is, Angela. And, I'll readily admit that I'm pretty, "Meh" when it comes to salmon. This one of the only ways that I actually *like* Salmon. Thanks for the comment.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 5 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      This looks so Yummy!

    • MickiS profile image

      MickiS 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks for the feedback and the vote, Tina! Yes, the ability to make ahead is a big plus.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 5 years ago from Sweden

      Salmon with Creme Fraiche is a winner combination and I love the looks of these appetizer. It is good with food that can be prepared in advance so this is useful in so many ways!

      Thanks for sharing, voted up useful and I will save it to my favorite recipes.