Taku River Salmon Tartare with Black & White Sesame Tuile, Karasumi and Shiso


I’ve been a bit silent of the blog this past week because i had to catch up on real life for a little. Now that’s taken care of i’m back to the land of delicious food and friendly people. I’m often accused of making complicated dishes. The truth is, most of what i do on this blog is really not that hard. I just make it look complicated. It’s part of my job.

Sometimes it takes very little efforts to create a great dish and that’s when it’s crucial to have quality ingredients. The sweet, fatty part of a wild salmon for example needs little adornments to turn into something truly memorable. In this case all it took was some chopped chives, olive oil, lemon zest and salt. You could stop there and have a delicious appetizer in minutes. I was lucky enough to have a (smuggled) piece of karasumi (the Japanese version of Bottarga) which i finely grated over the top with the help of a microplane grater, and what a surprise this was. Karasumi has a rich, salty flavor and a waxy bite and mouth feel that paired particularly well with the lemon zest and the fattiness of the salmon. It took my taste buds on a joy ride. I also wanted to provide a gentle heat so i used a little drizzle of mustard oil. Complicated.. i think not!


It’s always a good idea to serve a crunchy component with a salmon tartare. I went for a savory tuile sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds and another one with a mixture of dried bonito flakes, sesame and spices. I also followed the advice of @chefmark on twitter and made some with furikake. That’s some pretty incredible junk food. I could eat a bag full of them while sitting in front of the computer.


  • Taku River Salmon Tartare with Black & White Sesame Tuile, Karasumi and Shiso

  • salmon-tartare-12
  • serves 4
    • Taku River Salmon Tartare:
    • 1 lb wild salmon, finely diced
    • 1/4 cup chopped chives
    • zest of 1/2 lemon, finely grated
    • salt, to taste
    • 2 or 3 tablespoons of XV olive oil
    • pinch of furikake (optional)
    • Karasumi (or Bottarga), finely grated
    • Shiso
    • Mustard oil
    • Tobiko (optional)
    • For the Black & White Sesame Tuiles:
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 4 tablespoons butter, very soft
    • 1 egg white
    • black & white sesame seeds
    • dry bonito flakes (optional)
    • furikake
    • salmon-tartare-7

      For the Taku River Salmon tartare:
    • Combine the diced salmon, chives, lemon zest and olive oil in a medium bowl and stir gently with a spoon to combine. Season to taste with salt and furikake (if using).
    • Using a pastry ring, mold the salmon on top of a shiso leave. Grate the Karasumi (or bottarga) over the top. Drizzle mustard oil around the tartare and garnish with Tobiko (if using).
    • Serve with the Black & White sesame tuiles.
    • salmon-tartare-6

      For the Black & White Sesame Tuile:
    • Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the egg white into the flour mixture using a spoon. Stir until smooth. Whisk in the soft butter until the mixture is smooth.
    • Preheat oven to 375’F. Make a 1-inch circular stencil (i use the lid of a plastic quart container). Place on a silpat and using a small offset spatula, spread about 1 teaspoon of batter over the stencil to make an even layer. Repeat to fill the space on the silpat. Sprinkle each rounds of batter with sesame seed and/or bonito flakes and bake for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
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  • http://www.gourmetfury.com Melody Fury

    MMM Love the bonito flakes on the tuiles :) Great idea, S.

  • http://www.kungfueats.com Chris

    The presentation looks amazing. Unfortunately I doubt I’d be able to find Karasumi or Tobiko.

  • http://www.norecipes.com Marc @ NoRecipes

    Hahaha check out what I just posted today. Yours definitely looks more refined though. I don’t remember you picking up karasumi (I guess you did a good job hiding it!). Love the furikake tuiles.

  • http://kitchen-em.blogspot.com/ Kitchen M

    I’m definitely trying this! Furikake tuile sounds good too. Thanks for the idea and recipe. :)

  • http://vanillamanda.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    Beautiful as always! You inspire me!

  • http://www.my-easy-cooking.com nina

    Fresh, light and yet totally decadent!! Zenman, you rock!!

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Of course it’s complicated!! You have… rings and stuff! Ha ha ha.

  • http://detroiteats.wordpress.com/ Ed Schenk

    Stunning dish. Make me salivate just thinking about it. great photo too!

  • http://anhsfoodblog.com Anh

    Just amazing! Love this!

  • http://culinarytypes.blogspot.com T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

    Excellent ingredients, plus the eye of an artist is essential. Gorgeous.

  • http://myboyfriendcooksforme.blogspot.com my boyfriend cooks for me

    I’ve missed you, Zen! Looks like a perfect appetizer.

  • http://joylicious.net Joy

    Your food is always so beautifully crafted — I love the sesame tuile, I could probably eat the entire pan to myself. This entire dish makes me smile, beautiful job Zen :)

  • http://cookingrookie.blogspot.com Cooking Rookie

    Another beautiful recipe! I love your color choices – your food looks so festive and happy :-)

  • http://www.kitchentravels.com Dawn (KitchenTravels)

    Thanks for turning me on to a new ingredient (mustard oil). Gorgeous dish. Do you like sushi? Try Hirame nigiri with shiso and ponzu (no soy sauce) the next time you visit a good sushi bar. So light and delicious.

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva@The Sugar Bar

    Stunning dish and what a great way to use furikake. You’re just absolutely inspiring!

  • http://thenakedbeet.com nakedbeet

    Love tartare! What are the peppers on the oil there? Nice touch with the added heat.

  • http://www.thefoodaddicts.com Daniel@thefoodaddicts

    Looks great we love tartare in all forms. :)

  • http://www.noobcook.com noobcook

    You make the most amazing looking food. This tartare looks like a very exquisite and tasty art piece =)

  • http://wwwthepenandthepear.blogspot.com/2010/03/pb-trifle-americas-best-loved-sandwich.html Debbie

    Very artistic looking!
    You captured attention from our eyes and I’m sure you will capture attention from our mouths when we bite into this!

  • http://en.wheelinggourmet.com Nic (Wheeling Gourmet)

    Sunday morning here. Tempted to have some salmon tartare for breakfast!

    I think I would have cut the salmon a bit finer, but that’s just me :)

    Making your own tuiles for it is definitely the cherry on the icing on the cake, if you don’t mind mixed metaphors. :)

  • http://thelittleteochew.blogspot.com The Little Teochew

    I can spot your dishes instantly on all those food sites. You put your signature on them. They are always technicolour and extremely classy.

  • http://www.mattikaarts.com/blog matt

    wow, the vibrancy is just fantastic here. Love the clean presentation, distinct and bright flavors. My kind of tartare!

  • http://eataduckimust.blogspot.com/ alice

    oh my lordy. that looks so friggen good!!

  • http://breadetbutter.wordpress.com/ Su-yin

    Beautiful. Love the tuile, it must provide such a good contrast to the tartare.

  • Christine

    I didn’t know it was possible but this literally made my eyes pop and my jaw drop.

  • http://www.caputmundicibus.com/2010/02/italian-government-legislates-against-molecular-cuisine/ John

    Beautiful! Now I’m hungry AGAIN!

  • Foodrecipeshq

    So fresh, so good!