This homemade tartar sauce recipe withcapers and mayonnaise, and a splashy tang of pickle juice is the perfect topper—and dipper—for fish fillets of every flavor.
A naked fish fillet is exactly that: naked. Whether it’s a healthy-ish fried fish sandwich, every kid-at-heart’s favorite fish stick, or a more adult-ish grilled salmon fillet, fish is meant to have a saucy topper, and there’s no more classic a dipping sauce for fish than a tangy tartar sauce.
I’ve shared plenty of times here on the blog that my husband and I met as servers at a seafood restaurant. You could say our fate was sealed while falling in love with each other and the best clam chowder, steamed clams, and tartar sauce we dished out daily to the hungry crowds.
This tartar sauce recipe is the same they still serve at our old stomping grounds of Market Street Grill, and it’s the one we find ourselves lavishing on fish dinners time and time again.
Tartar Sauce Ingredients
While most believe tartar sauce is a condiment that always comes from a jar, it’s actually snap-of-your-fingers easy to make homemade. Tartar sauce is made of a few basic ingredients you likely already have in your fridge, including:
How to Make Tartar Sauce
This recipe calls for a minimum amount of mincing, then it’s all about the mixing. Basically it comes together faster than a teenager replying on Snapchat.
I find it therapeutic to spend quality time with my cutting board and knife so I’m happy to do the fine mince. But if you prefer, break out the food processor to do the work for you.
To make tartar sauce in the food processor: Pulse the onion, pickles and capers and parsley first to mince, then add in the rest of the ingredients and whiz to mix.
A Note About that Pickled Zing
I’ve made this tartar sauce with kosher dills, regular dills, and cornichons, too. But the original tartar sauce from our restaurant days that I’m using as my guide here has a distinctively pickled zing. It’s the reason we have a hard time falling for any other. After several rounds of taste testing I’ve narrowed down that particular tang to the type of pickle used to tartar the sauce.
What I’ve deduced is that just like in my classic Best Garlic Burger recipe, it’s the ultra vinegar flavor that comes from the pickles and juice of low-brow hamburger pickle chips to deliver the best zingy pucker pow. Or, you could use a dill pickle relish if you prefer. For me, I’m going with my chips all the way, although
Feel free to play with your pickles.
More Fish Recipes to Sauce
If you happen to have leftover sauce, use it as the base for tuna fish sandwiches, a dip for french fries, or use as a topping for burgers. Or, eat more healthy fish with it like those below: