This Salmon Carpaccio with Capers and Shallots is made with fresh salmon, lemon, shallots, dill, capers and a homemade mustard dressing.
The first time I tried this salmon carpaccio was in little Italy in NYC. I have never had anything like it! It is so light, healthy and it’s become a frequent snack I have. If you use smoked salmon, it makes it so much easier to me. If you have a good local fish market, I would love for you to try using the fresh salmon. Both variations can be found below.
What is Salmon Carpaccio?
Salmon carpaccio is a dish made from thinly sliced raw salmon that is typically served as an appetizer or light meal. The salmon is usually sliced paper-thin and arranged on a plate or platter. I used pre-sliced smoke salmon to make my life easier. Capers and shallots are then sprinkled over the top of the salmon, along with other seasonings such as lemon juice, olive oil, and fresh herbs. The dish is often garnished with additional ingredients such as arugula, shaved Parmesan cheese, or sliced radishes. The result is a light and refreshing dish that is perfect for summer or as an elegant starter for a dinner party.
How do you cut Salmon Carpaccio?
- Start with a fresh salmon fillet that has been properly trimmed and cleaned. Place it on a cutting board.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the salmon against the grain into thin, even slices. The slices should be as thin as possible, about ⅛ inch thick or less.
- Arrange the salmon slices in a single layer on a serving platter or individual plates.
- If you're serving the salmon carpaccio as an appetizer, you can slightly overlap the slices to create a pretty pattern. If you're serving it as a main course, you can arrange the slices in a circular pattern on each plate.
- Season the salmon slices with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle the salmon slices with the marinade or dressing of your choice, such as a lemon juice and olive oil mixture, and sprinkle with capers, shallots, or other toppings.
- Serve the salmon carpaccio immediately, while it's still cold and fresh.
Hint: It might help to freeze salmon for 30 minutes to make it easier to slice.
Salmon Carpaccio Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Dijon Mustard
- Red wine vinegar
- Olive oil
See recipe card for Salmon Carpaccio with Capers and Shallots quantities.
How to make Salmon Carpaccio
In a food processor or blender, add the mustard, red wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and pulse until smooth.
If you are using smoked salmon, skip this step. Rinse and dry the salmon, then wrap in cling film and freeze for 1 hour. This will make slicing easier. Unwrap the salmon and set on a large cutting board. Cut wafer-thin slices on the diagonal. Arrange the salmon over a large dish in an even layer. With a spoon, drizzle the mustard dressing, spreading it to evenly. Continue slicing and layering, finishing with a layer of marinade. Cover with cling film, directly over the fish, and chill for at least one hour.
Meanwhile, add the finely sliced shallot in a small bowl of cold water. This will take the strong taste out. Take the chilled salmon out of the refrigerator.
Scatter over the sliced shallot, capers, dill, freshly grated pepper, and salt. Serve with crackers or crostini.
Salmon: This salmon must be sushi grade. I would go to your local fish market to get the freshest quality salmon. You can use smoked salmon instead as well.
Shallots: I used red onion for this recipe, although you can use yellow or white onion. This is the base flavor for the recipe.
Lemons: For best taste, use real lemons and not store bought lemon juice.
Garlic: I used fresh garlic although you could use garlic from a can and top with the prepared minced garlic.
Capers: Capers are usually found in the canned goods at the grocery store, beside the pickles and jalapeños. They are lemony, briney, and salty and pair so well on this dish.
Olive oil: I used olive oil for this recipe, but you can try canola, vegetable or sunflower oil as well.
Salmon Carpaccio Recipe Variations
- Citrus salmon carpaccio: Instead of using lemon juice, use a combination of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and blood oranges to add a sweet and tangy flavor to the dish.
- Asian-inspired salmon carpaccio: Add some Asian flavors to the dish by topping the salmon with sliced avocado, cucumber, and pickled ginger. Drizzle with a soy sauce and sesame oil dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Mediterranean salmon carpaccio: Top the salmon with chopped tomatoes, olives, and red onions. Drizzle with a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar, and garnish with fresh basil or parsley.
- Spicy salmon carpaccio: Add some heat to the dish by sprinkling the salmon with chopped jalapeños or red pepper flakes. Drizzle with a spicy aioli or sriracha sauce and top with sliced scallions.
- Fruit and nut salmon carpaccio: Top the salmon with sliced peaches or nectarines, chopped pistachios, and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with a honey-balsamic vinaigrette and garnish with fresh mint.
Check out this Tuna Tartare with Avocado.
- Blender or Food Processor: You will need this to make the dressing.
- Plastic wrap: You will need plastic wrap to wrap the salmon tightly and chill it in the refrigerator.
- Plate or platter: Use a plate or platter to arrange the salmon slices.
- Mixing bowl: Use a mixing bowl to whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Whisk: Use a whisk to mix the dressing ingredients together.
- Measuring cups and spoons: Use measuring cups and spoons to measure out the ingredients for the dressing.
- Citrus juicer: If you are using citrus juice in your dressing, a citrus juicer can make the process easier and more efficient.
- Serving utensils: Use serving utensils such as tongs or a fork to serve the salmon carpaccio.
- Sharp knife: You will need a very sharp knife to slice the salmon thinly and evenly I used pre-sliced smoked salmon but if you opt to using fresh salmon you can do this.
- Cutting board: Use a cutting board to slice the salmon.
How to store Salmon Carpaccio
- Salmon carpaccio should be consumed immediately after it is prepared to ensure the best taste and texture. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days.
- Wrap the salmon tightly in plastic wrap or put it in an airtight container, and then place it in the refrigerator. It's important to keep the salmon chilled at all times to prevent bacterial growth and maintain freshness.
- When you're ready to serve the leftovers, remove the salmon from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving. This will help to bring out the flavors and textures of the dish.
- It's not recommended to freeze salmon carpaccio as the texture and flavor will be compromised.
Salmon Carpaccio Top Tips
- Choose fresh salmon: The quality of the salmon is crucial for the success of the dish. Look for fresh, high-quality salmon that has been properly stored and handled.
- Use a sharp knife: A sharp knife is essential for slicing the salmon thinly and evenly. A dull knife will crush the salmon and ruin the texture.
- Slice the salmon thin: For the best texture and presentation, slice the salmon as thinly as possible. This will also help the marinade to penetrate the fish.
- Chill the salmon: After marinating the salmon, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or until it's time to serve. This will help the fish to firm up and make it easier to slice.
- Use fresh herbs and aromatics: Fresh herbs and aromatics such as shallots, capers, and lemon juice will add flavor and balance to the dish.
- Serve the salmon cold: Serve the salmon carpaccio cold, straight from the refrigerator. The cold temperature will help to enhance the flavors and textures of the dish.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove