Make Ahead

Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Caper Sauce

October  4, 2022
6 Ratings
Photo by Tom Hirschfeld/ Bona Fide Farm Food
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

Hot-smoked salmon is what you want for this recipe. While the others -- lox and cured smoked salmon -- would be perfectly acceptable, they don't have the same texture. If you have all the ingredients on hand, you can slap this together in 5 minutes but you will hear about how good it is for years. Make sure to make the plate look pretty because the sauce and salmon can be a little homely, but that doesn't make them any less lovable. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • 8 to 12 ounces hot-smoked salmon
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish (optional, if you don't like horseradish you are in luck because this is still good without it), squeezed dry in a towel
  • 1/4 cup Duke's mayonnaise, or your favorite brand, just not Miracle Whip
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Parsley sprigs and chives for garnish
  • Assorted crackers or hearty toasted bread
  1. Place the salmon on a platter on which it sits comfortably. Not too big and not too small but, as as baby bear would say, just right. Leave some room for the sauce runoff, just don't let the platter be so big the salmon looks like a life raft in the Pacific Ocean.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients, sans garnishes, and whisk until combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  3. If you are transporting the appetizer, don't sauce or garnish it till you get to your destination.
  4. Let the salmon come to room temperature. Sauce it, garnish it, and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Horto
  • loubaby
  • thirschfeld
  • Nerdysanchez

14 Reviews

Nerdysanchez March 28, 2022
I made this for brunch and it was fantastic.
Umami C. March 30, 2021
This was a sublime sauce and made for an easy weeknight meal! I used it on oven-baked salmon, with bacon-fat roasted baby potatoes, and a huge pile of arugula which I also put the sauce on as a dressing. Will absolutely be making again soon.
Taylorjean07 April 25, 2018
I used this sauce as a salad dressing (added about 1 Tbs extra vinegar to thin to desired consistency) and served the smoked salmon on top. It was perfect! Thanks for the wonderful idea!
Taylorjean07 April 25, 2018
I used this sauce as a salad dressing (added about 1 Tbs extra vinegar to thin to desired consistency) and served the smoked salmon on top. It was perfect! Thanks for the wonderful idea!
arcane54 June 7, 2015
Outstanding! I've used this sauce with both smoked and poached salmon and tomorrow will use it in a new potato and salmon salad.
Horto September 11, 2014
life changing, bread?
Horto September 11, 2014
the cracker looks wonderful, care to share?
is it that strange bread?
Teri September 1, 2014
What is wrong with Miracle whip?
thirschfeld September 1, 2014
Nothing is wrong with miracle Whip, love it in fact. It just isn't the right ingredient for this sauce.
loubaby August 11, 2014
I have made this twice now for guests and it is so fantastic...everyone loves it. Thanks so much for sharing it...The Fresh Market was selling the hot smoked and it went perfect with that fabulous sauce...
anne January 19, 2014
Made this sauce and served with a poached salmon. YUM.
Carolyn B. December 19, 2013
What exactly is hot smoked salmon? Do you mean to use raw salmon and smoke it on a BBQ or ? Costco sells a packaged smoked salmon thats obviously cooked through, would this work or is it better to start off with a raw piece of fish ?
thirschfeld December 19, 2013
Hot smoked salmon means nothing more then when the salmon was smoked it was smoked at a high temperature thus cooking the salmon through as opposed to curing it with, say, alcohol. Costco salmon should be just fine.
Carolyn B. December 19, 2013
Hey there, thanks very much for responding so quickly, I have spent many years in my life fishing for salmon in Oregon as many family members live there. But living in Utah has a lot of limitations in the fresh fish world. Costco, unfortunately is the only place to buy something somewhat safe in the fishy world, thanks again for the info....Carolyn