I am calling this salmon dip because it’s a lot less fancified than “mousse,” and besides, a mousse implies a totally emulsified, fluffy product bound with cream and eggs. This ain’t that. This is a fantastic party appetizer or football-watching food that you can make in about 10 minutes.
I got the recipe from one of my favorite Scandinavian cookbooks, Kitchen of Light: The New Scandinavian Cooking, by Andreas Viestad. I did make a few modifications, however — less sour cream, white pepper instead of pink pepper, and I don’ t like mixing the caviar into the dip, I like it on top. But structurally it’s pretty close.
Make this ahead of time before your gathering and keep it nice and cold. Serve it in waves so it stays cold. I like to spread the dip on crackers, but you could also use it as a base for a salmon sandwich: Spread some of this on the bread, then top it with slices of smoked salmon. Damn good.
Salmon Dip or Mousse
Keep in mind that this recipe uses raw salmon, so buy sushi grade salmon if you can. If you are using salmon you’ve caught, be sure to freeze it for a week or so in the coldest part of your freezer before you do this; there is a small but real chance of picking up a parasite when you eat raw, never-before-frozen salmon. If you want to do this with trout, same thing applies, unless you are using farmed trout, which is supposed to be screened for parasites.
For a spread that uses only cooked salmon, try my Salmon Rillettes.
If you don’t like dill, you can use another herb. Parsley’s the ole’ standby. The caviar kinda makes this appetizer, so try to get some if you can. I know some high-end liquor stores like BevMo and Total Wine tend to have good caviar.
For crackers, nothing beats table water crackers, to my mind. They’re just a great neutral cracker that lets you enjoy this awesome dip.
Don’t make a whole lot more than you think you’ll eat in a day or so; this dip doesn’t keep for more than 48 hours, even in the fridge.
Serves 6 as an appetizer.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: n/a
- 1/2 pound salmon, skinless (sushi grade if possible)
- 1/2 pound smoked salmon, skinless
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 6 ounces of sour cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 teaspoons ground white or black pepper
- Salmon roe or other caviar for garnish (optional)
- Remove any pinbones from the salmon. Flake the smoked salmon into smallish pieces and chop the fresh salmon into 1-inch pieces. Buzz both in a food processor a few times until you have a rough puree.
- Move the salmon to a bowl and mix with the lemon juice, sour cream, dill and pepper. Add salt if it needs it. Serve on crackers with some caviar.