Smoked Salmon Tartare: A Taste of Vancouver


Smoked Salmon Tartare: A Taste of Vancouver


Complicated flavors - As easy as you like

This recipe best represents what I love about the recipes in The Gastown Foodie, and all my books. It is a flexible, editable, customizable guideline AND a restaurant quality dish. It’s also really really easy if you want it to be.

As you scroll down you might think… um … nice recipe, but, loooong!! Take a closer look, the recipe includes all the steps to smoke your own salmon, which you could buy pre-smoked, and all the other parts/elements can be store bought too. You could make some from scratch and mix it up, or go all in, and try to perfectly replicate the chefs intentions. You can also adjust the flavors to your liking and to the season and serve it slightly differently every time.

The recipe is also very very Vancouver! Local Salmon being the best in the world and the balance of the other elements are an excellent example of modern Canadian cuisine. Recipe from The Pourhouse Restaurant, Gastown. Pg. 194 The Gastown Foodie.

Happy cooking!



Smoked Salmon

Brining and Smoking

1 filet of salmon

2.5L water

425g salt

50g maple syrup

  1. Dissolve the salt in around a liter of boiled water then add cold water to bring the total volume up to 2.5 liters. Allow this brine to cool completely.

  2. Place the salmon skin side down in a large container with a lid, add the brine and maple syrup and mix thoroughly.

  3. Place the lid on the container and the container in the fridge and allow to brine for 12 hours. Flip the salmon so it is skin side up and brine for another 12 hours.

  4. Remove from the salmon from the brine and rinse under cold water.

Cold Smoking

Follow your smokers instructions to cold smoke the salmon for 2 hours using your favorite wood. Placing a tray full of ice in the smoker and replenishing the ice regularly is good trick to keep the temperature low.

Place the salmon on a tray and refrigerate uncovered in the fridge for 6 hours so it dries out a bit.  

If you don’t have a smoker you could also use a smoking gun, an oven dish large enough to comfortably hold the salmon, plastic wrap and masking tape. Place the salmon skin side down in the dish. Cover the dish securely with the plastic wrap. Cut a small hole in the wrap for the smoking gun’s hose and another small hole on the other side of the dish to let air escape. Fill the dish with smoke and then cover the holes with masking tape. Refresh the smoke 3 or 4 times in the 2 hours of smoking time.

Roasted & Marinated Peppers

2 red peppers

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp sherry vinegar

Salt & pepper

  1. Split the peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds and core. Place on an oven tray and blacken the skins under the broiler.

  2. Place the burnt peppers in a container with a lid for at least 10 minutes so the steam loosens skin. Remove the skin and cut the flesh into a small dice.

  3. Season with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Confit Tomatoes

4 roma tomatoes

1 Cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, smashed

2 sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

  1. Cut a small x into the bottom of the tomatoes, blanch for 20 seconds in boiling water then transfer to an ice bath.

  2. Peel the skin off the tomatoes, the small x cut should make this easy, and place in a small ovenproof dish with the remaining ingredients.

  3. Cover and place in the oven set to 200°C (400°F) for 1 hour.

  4. Remove from oven, drain the oil and allow to cool.

  5. Chop tomatoes into a fine dice and season with salt and pepper to taste.


4 avocados

2 limes

Salt & pepper

  1. Dice avocados and place in a bowl.

  2. Zest and juice the limes and stir through the avocado.

  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Salsa Verde

2 bunches basil

1 bunch parsley

1 bunch mint

1 clove garlic

Salt & pepper

½ Cup olive oil

  1. Rinse all the herbs in water and pat dry.

  2. Add half of the olive oil and all the remaining ingredients blender.

  3. Blitz and slowly add the remaining olive oil until the puree becomes smooth. Do not over blitz, it’s best to use the pulse function.

  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cool in fridge.

To Serve

Smoked salmon*

Marinated peppers*

Confit tomatoes*



Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Micro greens

Crostini (dry toasts)

  1. For each portion of tartar being served you will need around 80g of salmon, 1 tablespoon of the marinated peppers and 1 tablespoon of the confit tomatoes.

  2. Dice the salmon and mix with the measured quantities of tomatoes and peppers in a bowl.

  3. Add a sprinkle of chopped chives, a squirt of good olive oil and a little salt and pepper, if necessary.

  4. Layer and smooth out 1½ tablespoons of the guacamole into a ring mold on a serving plate.

  5. Layer the salmon mixture into ring mold on top of the guacamole and smooth it out evenly.

  6. Spoon half a tablespoon of the salsa verde around the tartar on the plate.  If it is too dense stir in a little more olive oil first.

  7. Top with some micro greens as a garnish and serve with 5 crostini on the side.


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