Texas Smoked Salmon Tartare

These spicy, tangy little hors d'oeuvres are chef Dean Fearing's take on the classic combination of smoked salmon, red onion and capers—he throws in roasted garlic, lime juice and jalapeño and replaces the standard cream cheese with sour cream. To make the dish especially Southwestern, he serves the tartare on tortilla chips. "Everything is good on a chip," he says.

Slideshow:  More Fast Hors d'Oeuvres

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 12


  • 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons roasted garlic paste (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • One 1/2-pound piece of skinless smoked salmon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, plus 4 dozen cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 dozen sturdy corn tortilla chips

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium bowl, using the back of a fork, mash the anchovies with the roasted garlic paste, cumin and extra-virgin olive oil. Stir in the sour cream and lime juice. Fold in the smoked salmon, jalapeño, red onion, capers and chopped cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Arrange the tortilla chips on a platter. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the smoked salmon tartare onto each chip, top with a cilantro leaf and serve.

Make Ahead

The smoked salmon tartare can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.


To make your own garlic paste, roast 3 unpeeled garlic cloves with 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a foil packet in a preheated 350¯ oven for about 45 minutes. Let the garlic cool slightly, then mash it.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published November 2007

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