Tartar sauce, or as the French call it, ‘Sauce Tartare’ is a simple, but an incredibly tasty accompaniment to fish dishes and though it is fairly ubiquitous, it is really easy and worth the effort to make your own homemade tartar sauce. Tartare sauce is commonly is made with a mayonnaise base or sometimes with aioli, with the addition of dill pickles and capers and can be prepared very quickly as a last minute sauce for fish or seafood dishes.
In the UK, tartar sauce is commonly served with fish and chips, but usually at restaurants and not fish and chip shops. However most of the time it will be a commercial sauce which is a poor facsimile to the real thing. The origin of the name of tartar sauce is not know, but it is a fairly recent sauce, first appearing in French cookbooks in the 19th century. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with, or contain ‘Cream of Tartar’. It is however very close to another French sauce called Remoulade, but instead of anchovies, or Worcester Sauce, Dijon mustard is used instead. Note: Danish remoulade and especially Louisiana remoulade are derived from the French one, but are quite different in style and cannot really be compared the French Sauce Rémoulade or Sauce Tartare.
Depending where you are in the world there are many different additions or substitutions that are commonly added diy tartar sauce recipes. For instance in the USA, it is common to add sweet pickle relish and also the onion can be replaced with scallions (spring onions) or chives. Other ingredients I have seen used are shallots instead of the onions, the addition of fresh lemon juice, garlic, hard boiled eggs, olives, sour cream or even horseradish. Also the parsley could be replaced with other herbs such as tarragon or dill Though none of the ingredients are traditional, there is nothing to stop you from experimenting to make your own tartar sauce just the way you like it. One thing I would recommend is not using Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise. Just no!
Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe Ingredients
- 0.5 cups (115g) of mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp of onion
- 1 tsp of Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp of drained capers
- 2 tsp of dill pickle (gherkins)
- 2 tbsp of fresh herbs e.g parsley, dill, tarragon, etc
- Salt & Pepper
How to make the best tartar sauce recipe
- Chop the onion, dill pickle and herbs finely
- Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl
- Mix to combine
- Taste and then season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight to allow the flavours to develop
- Serve a large spoon with fish or seafood