Eating Sustainably: Salmon Tartar

Written by on August 18, 2014 in Fish, Other News

Editor’s Note — In this monthly series, Eating Sustainably, we will feature delicious recipes for sustainable seafood created by chef and author Victoria Allman. To remain consistent, we will use only seafood listed as “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.

By Victoria Allman, author of SEAsoned: A Chef’s Journey with Her Captain

Chinook salmon. Photo credit: NOAA.

Chinook salmon. Photo credit: NOAA.

In western Canada, I grew up eating Chinook salmon (also known as king salmon, spring salmon, or Tyee salmon) that was wild-caught in our rivers. Now that I am living in the southern States, I crave the rich flavor and silky flesh of the Chinook and search out salmon from Alaska that are purse seine or troll caught to remind me of home. The fisheries in Alaska are intensely monitored and regulated to ensure sustainability. Due to the level of management, Chinook salmon are considered the Best Choice by the Monterey Bay on their Seafood Watch List.

I love the story of life of the salmon. The Chinook are born in rivers before swimming off to the Pacific Ocean for typically three to four years before fighting their way back up stream to the river they were born in to spawn. The female Chinooks spend up to a month guarding their eggs before dying, admittedly, not the best part of the story. Three to five months later their eggs hatch and the baby salmon, called fry, stay in the fresh water rivers for 1 to 1 ½ years before traveling downstream to estuaries and eventually out to the ocean to repeat the process.

The great thing about salmon is that it is super heart-healthy with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and an excellent source of protein.

Chinook are often considered the best tasting salmon. Their flesh ranges from white to pink to deep red and is velvety smooth. It has large flakes and a high oil content that makes the salmon melt on your tongue when eaten.

Salmon Tartar

Salmon Tartar. Photo credit: Victoria Allman.

Salmon Tartar. Photo credit: Victoria Allman.

Serves 6-8

2 pounds Chinook salmon
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped capers
1 lemon, zested
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
12 grinds fresh black pepper

Thin sliced cucumbers
Lemon Zest

Cut salmon into small dice with a sharp knife without mincing it. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a medium bowl, mix together the shallot, chives, capers, lemon zest and juice and olive oil.

Just before serving, mix the salmon with the lemon juice mixture and season. Taste for acidity and seasoning.

Pack into a ring mold and plate on a ring of cucumbers. Top with microgreens and lemon zest.

Serve immediately.

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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