How to Make Tartar Sauce
When it comes to fried seafood, knowing how to make tartar sauce is a must. The condiment's acidity and tang helps balance the oily richness of fried fish.

Tartar sauce is basically mayonnaise with a few added ingredients: gherkins, shallots, lemon juice and sometimes capers and fresh herbs. Dijon mustard is often added as an emulsifier--it helps bring together the oil in the mayonnaise and the lemon juice.

It's thought tartar sauce, or "sauce tartare" in French, was named after the Tartars (also spelled Tatar), an ethnic group living in present-day Russia. Tartar sauce is sometimes referred to as remoulade, but the latter is often more yellowish and can be flavored with curry, horseradish, paprika, anchovies and more.

It's possible to buy tartar sauce bottled, but making it from scratch offers a much fresher flavor. Make just as much as you need, however, as it keeps for only a day or two in the refrigerator.

-Hi everyone, I'm Judith. Well, today I'll be showing you how to make a really wonderful accompaniment to your fish, tartar sauce. So what you'll need for this is a quarter cup of low fat mayonnaise; 1-1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard; 2 sweet gherkin pickles, minced; 2 tablespoons of finely chopped jarred pimiento peppers; and 2 teaspoons of minced shallot. So, very simple guys, all we gonna do, let's put in all of our ingredients into a mixing bowl. Now, as I said, these are great flavors to have with a nice white fish, cod for example which I just love to serve it with taken me back to my British roots, and that 1 cup there, pinch of salt in there, and our pimiento peppers. We'll give that a good stir. Get all those flavors in together, beautiful colors there too, oh smells good, and that is ready, best thing to do is refrigerate it and keep it nice and cold, so you can just put it on with your fish and chips of course when you're ready. And there you go, that's how you make tartar sauce.
What You'll Need
  • 1/4  cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2   sweet gherkin pickles, minced
  • 2   tablespoons finely chopped jarred pimiento peppers
  • 2   teaspoons minced shallot

Step By Step
Combine mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, pimientos and shallot in a small bowl.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

More Recipes
Our sophisticated take on tartar sauce combines low-fat mayonnaise with chopped gherkins, pimientos and shallots.
The homemade tartar sauce for these broiled or grilled scallops is altogether different and so much better than the sauce that comes in a jar. Serve it with any cooked fish or shellfish.
Michael Schlow of Radius in Boston uses potato flakes from a box in place of bread crumbs to form a supercrispy crust for cod fillets. Grace Parisi dredges cod strips in flour and potato flakes to create crunchy fish sticks, which she serves with a chunky sun-dried-tomato tartar sauce.
These one-inch thick tuna steaks are perfect for grilling. Mango chutney, toasted cumin seeds, lemon juice, and Dijon-style mustard combine to make an scrumptious serving sauce.
When you crave a fish dinner, grill these seasoned walleye fillets and serve them on a bun topped with slaw and delicious homemade sauce.
When they're in South Carolina, the Lees make this recipe with wreckfish, a local, sustainable catch; striped bass works, too. They advise leaving the skin on the fish because it crisps up so nicely.
Try this fresh approach to tartar sauce as an accompaniment for any fish or combine it with chunk light tuna as the base of a tuna salad.
Fish fillets coated with Pepperidge Farm® Zesty Italian Croutons are baked to golden goodness and served with tartar sauce.
You can make these homemade fish sticks in about the same amount of time it takes to bake a box of the frozen kind. Make it a meal: Serve with lemon wedges, coleslaw, roasted new potatoes and a dollop of tartar sauce.
These burgers have a true crab flavor that isn't masked by fillers or strong seasoning. Serve on a bun with tartar sauce or with a lemon-juice-dressed salad of greens, sprouts and sliced peaches. This recipe works best with convenient pasteurized crabmeat, usually found in the refrigerated case near the fish counter. If you prefer lump crabmeat, cut it into small, uniform pieces.
We've taken the frying and fuss out of crab cakes by shaping and baking them in muffin tins. For the best taste, look for pasteurized crabmeat in the refrigerator case at your market's fish counter, a better choice than canned varieties. Make It a Meal: Try these cakes with some tangy tartar sauce and coleslaw.

shop our favorite products