Whitefish Salad

Smoked whitefish salad is a staple in many Jewish delis and bagel shops, and while excellent purchased versions abound, making your own is a snap. Our recipe is creamy (we add both mayonnaise and crème fraîche) and lightly smoky with a lemony tang and plenty of fresh dill. We also add dill pickle for a hit of acidity and crunch. We like to spread the salad on pumpernickel triangles or bagel chips and top it with thin slices of cucumber, but spreading it on bagels or scooping it over a bed of crunchy lettuce never gets old.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6


  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 medium dill pickle, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill, plus dill sprigs for serving
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, lightly crushed with a heavy skillet
  • 8 ounces skinless, boneless smoked whitefish, flaked
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Sliced pumpernickel bread and thinly sliced cucumbers, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the shallot with the lemon juice and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Add the celery, pickle, mayonnaise, crème fraiche, chopped dill, mustard and caraway seeds, and using a spatula, stir to combine. Fold in the fish and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Scrape the salad into a serving bowl. Garnish with dill sprigs and serve with pumpernickel bread and thinly sliced cucumbers.

Make Ahead

The salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight.

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