Tartare Sauce

Homemade tartare sauce – the perfect accompaniment to fish, chips and mushy peas, and it’s easy to make too.

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Tartare sauce ingredients

Tartare sauce is one of those sauces that everyone seems to make a different way, so I decided I might as well chip in and share my version.

Tartare sauce is something relatively new to my kitchen. I’ve always enjoyed eating it* with haddock and chips when I’m out and about. However, I had been put off making it myself as it has a mayonnaise base. I remembered making mayonnaise at school and it being a bit of a pain to make (it turns out that it was because I was whisking by hand – use an electric mixer and it’s a doddle).

I was inspired to give it another go by this quick mayonnaise recipe from Le Coin de Mel. She made it sound so simple that I was inspired to give it another go – and you know what? She was right. Since then I’ve been experimenting with mayonnaise-based sauces and my current favourite is this tartare sauce.

*OK I didn’t enjoy it at all when I was a child. It’s quite an acquired taste which I only started to enjoy when I grew up.

Tartare Sauce above

Tips for making perfect mayonnaise

I really only have one… Add the oil gradually and make sure it’s properly mixed in before you add the next lot. I usually add about a tablespoon at a time and that seems to work well for me.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to let Daniel (who’s 4) help me out when I was making it. He was a little enthusiastic with the oil and poured in half in one go. No amount of beating would make the sauce thicken up (I left the mixer running for ages just in case).

Tartare sauce fish chips

If you prefer to use pre-made mayonnaise then you can start the recipe below from step 4, adding the lemon juice alongside the other ingredients at this stage. You’ll need roughly 100ml of mayonnaise to replace the homemade mayonnaise in the recipe.

As I said before, this is the way I like to make it, but the exact amounts of each ingredient are flexible so feel free to adjust the levels of gherkins, capers, mustard, lemon juice and parsley to suit your personal taste.

Tartare Sauce

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Makes approx. 6 heaped tablespoons

Tartare Sauce


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 50ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 50g pickled gherkins (2 gherkins)
  • 1 tsp vinegar from the gherkins
  • 20g capers (1 heaped tbsp)
  • ½ tsp english mustard
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • salt


  1. Make the mayonnaise by placing the egg yolk, gherkin vinegar (1 tsp) and lemon juice (1 tsp) into a bowl and beat for about 10 seconds with an electric mixer to combine.
  2. Gradually add the oil (50ml vegetable oil and 50ml rapeseed oil) about 1 tbsp at a time. Beat on a high speed after each addition until the oil is fully combined and the mayonnaise mixture looks thick and the beaters leave a trail.
  3. Keep adding the oil and beating until it is all combined.
  4. Finely chop the gherkins (50g), capers (20g) and parsley (1 tbsp) and add to the mayonnaise. Add the english mustard (½ tsp). Stir.
  5. Season with salt and serve.

Tartare sauce nutritional information per heaped tablespoon

Tartare Sauce Nutrition

This is the estimated nutritional information per portion. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you want to learn more about how this is calculated.



  1. Your tartare sauce looks delicious, Charlotte! I love it with steak but your photo of that fish and chips is making my tummy rumble…

    Thank you so much for mentioning my recipe, lovely lady! Adding the oil a little bit at a time is definitely the best tip you can give anyone making mayonnaise for the first time. Another important thing is to have all ingredients at room temperature.

    • Charlotte Oates

      No problem. You honestly inspired me with your mayonnaise so it was only right I gave you some credit.

      I’ve never tried tartare sauce with steak before, I always thought it was a fish and chips sort of thing. I’ll have to give it a try sometime.

  2. For some reason, I have never thought to make this myself! This sounds awesome!

    • Charlotte Oates

      I hadn’t until recently either. It’s so simple and tastes much nicer than the sauce you get from a jar.

  3. When you say English mustard, do you use the yellow powder out of the Colmans tin or a ready blended version out of a jar?

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