Tartar Sauce

James Beard

Author and Educator

A cousin to the French condiment rémoulade, tartar sauce is a popular accompaniment to fish of any kind, but most commonly, fried fish. Its basic ingredients are listed below, but the recipe is open to personal interpretation. Chopped dill, parsley, and lemon juice make it more American, but add tarragon, shallots, cornichons, and minced garlic, and voila! you have rémoulade.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped capers
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard, or to taste
  • Dash of lemon juice or tarragon vinegar


Combine all ingredients and blend well. Add the lemon juice or vinegar if it seems to lack sharpness. Let the sauce stand an hour or so before serving, and it will gain a great deal in quality as the flavors have time to merge and mellow.


1 1/2 cups