Light and creamy with the tang of pickles and a delicate crunch from the capers and gherkins this is the ultimate sauce for fish dishes and is so easy to make from scratch, you’ll never buy store-bought tartar/tartare sauce again.
What is sauce tartare?
Best known for being the sauce that goes with fish and chips, Tartare sauce is one of those condiments that comes in a litte plastic packet alongside the tomato ketchup, brown sauce and mayonnaise at many fast food eateries.
Forget that type of tartare sauce completely, please. My homemade tartar sauce is way better than that insipid sauce.
Why is it called tartare sauce
This deliciously tangy mayonnaise sauce comes from France. Tartare sauce was originally invented to go alongside steak tartar (that’s a raw minced beef dish) and it took its name from tatar tribe who occupied parts of the Ukraine and Russia and first introduced the finely minced raw meat dish to France.
Why you’ll love this homemade tartare sauce
This is rich and creamy and packed with flavour, completely different from the stuff in jars and those tiny packets in fast food joints.
Tartar sauce is an easy sauce to make, using lots of goodies commonly found already lurking in the fridge.
This is such a versatile sauce. Don’t just think of tartare sauce as the sidekick to fried fish and chips. Oh no, you can serve tartare sauce with all sorts of things from filling sandwiches to serving as a dip with crisps and crudities and it is just perfect with smoked salmon.
Ingredients for homemade tartare sauce
- Egg – yolk only, plus Dihjon mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and sunflower oil for the mayonnaise base of this tartar sauce
- Capers, gherkins/cornichons, parsley, chives, spring onions, dried taragon.
I have used spring onions for my tartare sauce. You can just as easily use half a shallot instead. Both are milder in flavour than standard onions.
How to make tartar sauce
First and foremost you are making a mayonnaise base
There is a real fear factor when you mention the dreaded mayo word. People tend to recoil in horror seeing images of split sauces, aching wrists from all that whisking and the general loss of the will to live that the damn thing will never turn out right.
Please lose all those ideas.
Mayonnaise requires one thing and one thing only – time. If you take your time and drizzle in the oil VERY slowly until the egg mixture has actually come together like a sauce you will be fine. Then you can add the oil a little more quickly.
The trouble starts when people rush this crucial first part of very SLOWLY drizzling in the oil to get their mayonnaise started.
Once you have your mayonnaise base simply add all the other ingredients for your tartare sauce and whisk them in.
Let your tartare sauce chill in the fridge for half an hour to allow the flavours to fully develop.
Cheats tartare sauce
Don’t have time/inclination to whisk up this simple mayonnaise base for your tartar sauce? Then simply use a store bought good quality mayonnaise and add all the other tartare sauce ingredients to this.
It won’t be as good as tartare sauce made from scratch but it is still way better than the store-bought stuff.
How much tartare sauce does this make
I got one 300ml jar of sauce from this recipe. For me that works out at about 15 servings as I take a single serving to be a tablespoon (20ml).
How long will homemade tartar sauce keep
This sauce will keep for up to a week in the fridge in a lidded container.
How to serve homemade tartare sauce
With fish and chips of course!
I love this sauce with smoked salmon in a sandwich or with a salad.
Serve tartar sauce with prawns/shrimps as an alternative to the standard prawn cocktail sauce. In fact if you add some tomato ketchup to this tartare sauce you get the most amazing sauce for prawns!
Use your tartare sauce as a dip for chips, crudites, crips and the like.
Looking for more super easy sauces to make youorself? Then check these out before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Homemade Traditional Tartare Sauce
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 150 ml sunflower oil
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 2 spring onions finely chopped
- 1 tbsp capers chopped
- 1 tbsp gherkins chopped
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp chives chopped
- 1 tsp dill chopped
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- Whisk the egg yolk with the mustard and vinegar and start to drizzle in the oil a tiny bit at a time whisking continuously as you do so
- Once the mayonnaise has come to gether as a yellow creamy sauce you can addthe rest of the oil more quickly along with the lemon juice
- Add all the other ingredients and whisk them well into the sauce
- Chill in fridge for at least half an hour before serving to allow the flavours to fully develop