Dave’s Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce
A few weeks ago we made our annual pilgrimage to a North Carolina beach (yes the one with the sharks) to hang out with everybody in Betsy’s family. Like… everybody. We rent a bunch of houses and it’s a huge party.
One day I spent an afternoon fishing the Intercoastal waterway with Betsy’s cousin and his brother-in-law. It was a perfect, relaxing day on the water and while we didn’t catch enough to feed the group, we did buy enough afterward to make it look like we caught enough to feed the group. True fishermen!
I was in charge of cooking the fish and everybody else pitched in for sides and stuff. I’m generally not one for tartar sauce and will usually pass on it for a big hit of lemon, but when I tried this tartar sauce I did two things. First, I took a big scoopful of it for myself. Screw sharing. It was delicious. Second, I annoyed the maker of said tartar sauce until he gave me the recipe.
1) Mince onions and rinse with cold water. Stir together with chopped capers and pickles.
2) Stir in mayonnaise and thin with lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with any fried or grilled fish.
Made sauce will be fine in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce
The shocking thing about this recipe is that I was sure there was more to it. But no. It really only has a few ingredients but there are a few important things to note.
First, the amount of capers is not a typo. It’s a lot of capers. I’m not talking about the little spots of capers you get on a bagel. I’m talking about capers-in-every-bite deliciousness.
Second, use good dill pickles. They should be crunchy and bright. If you can find them, my favorite brand at the moment is Bubbies pickles.
A few more tricks!
After you dice the onions (you can use sweet onions, white onions, red onions, or shallots), I like to rinse them under cold water. This rinses off some of the harsh onion taste.
Also, try to dice your pickles and onions so they are about the size of capers… pretty finely. You can also chop up the capers roughly.
Now the hard work is done!
Stir in some mayo. If you can, homemade mayo is probably best, but I used store-bought and it was great also. The amount of mayo and lemon is roughly estimated in the recipe to what I liked. I like mine pretty chunky with the mayo just barely holding everything together. You could add more if you want it creamier.
All stirred together it should be nice and chunky. Season it with salt and pepper! I gave amounts in the recipe, but as I’ve mentioned, you should probably season it as you go as the capers and pickles will vary in saltiness depending on what you use.
Serve this stuff in hearty amounts with any fried or grilled fish. It’s good slathered on most seafood.
I made a big batch of homemade fish sticks for this post and it was, not surprisingly, amazing.
As true testament to the deliciousness of this homemade tartar sauce, I fed it to Betsy who downright despises both pickles and capers.
She ate it and didn’t absolutely hate it. Trust me when I say that’s a win!