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Salmon Tartare

A great appetizer on a warm summer's day, this starter is mouth-watering.

Tartare basically means "raw", but there is nothing fishy about salmon tartare! Try your hand at it and surprise your dinner guests!

Salmon is a delicious fish; it is fatty in a healthy way. Farmed salmon contains more than 10% fat, most of it unsaturated. Wild salmon, such as Sockeye, contains about 7% fat.

For this recipe, I find the fattier variety works best.

What is Tartare?

The term Tartare refers to the ethnic group of the Tatars, who lived and still live in Russia, Tatarstan, Bashkorostan, Crimea and Siberia. According to travelers observing these people, they ate their meat raw and prepared it by putting it under their saddles while riding their horses on the steppes. You may have heard of Tartar sauce as well, also named after these peoples. In culinary terms, Tartare basically means "raw". 

Boeuf Tartare is a classic dish in the French bistro kitchen. But why not vary on the theme with fish? Here is one idea.

The main ingredient and star of the show is a good cut of salmon, such as a loin. Make sure the fish is free of any bones or pin-bones. Cut the fish into dice about 5 millimeters (1/5th of an inch). Add some sea salt and mix well.

Prepping for the Salmon Tartare

Classic ingredients in a Tartare are cornichons and capers. They work well with salmon as well. Dice the cornichons into the same size as the salmon.

My summer version of salmon tartare features diced apple (use a firm apple). Granny Smith and Kanzi work well, because they have a nice tartness. Peel and dice the apple. 

Slice a fresh chili into very thin slices. Add according to taste.  

Mix all ingredients together and add mayonnaise and freshly ground black pepper. Use a cutting ring or similar and fill it with the mixture. Carefully remove the ring. Serve and enjoy!

Use a ring to stack the Tartare together

Note on Food Safety

You may wonder if it is safe to eat raw fish. The short answer is: yes, if you are careful. 

Fresh fish is usually frozen these days. Freezing fish will cause possible parasites to die. The FDA requires freezing for at least 15 hours to a temperature of -31º Fahrenheit (-35º Celsius) or to -4º Fahrenheit (-20º Celsius) for a period of a week.