Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 0 mins

I developed this tartar sauce about 35 years ago while working as broiler chef in a nice family steakhouse in California that didn't have a decent tartar sauce and didn't really care that their sauce couldn't even stand up to that on McDonald's Filet of Fish. I love this, since it is obviously designed just to my taste! It's good enough that it's even converted a couple of devout tartar haters, including my wife, who hates the stuff, to true believers. She uses more of it than I do!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Although quantities are close, they are only the starting point for the recipe.
  2. Whisk the mayonnaise until smooth and creamy, and set aside.
  3. Combine minimum amounts of all remaining ingredients except Tabasco, salt, and pepper, and whisk until dry ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Stir into mayonnaise, and whisk until well combined.
  5. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, taste, and adjust seasoning with Tabasco, salt, and pepper.
  6. Taste again, and start to increase sweet relish, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and mustard to meet your standards.
  7. I sometimes end up adding more dill relish, especially if I added too much sweet relish.
  8. Keep the amount of sweet relish low; this recipe is not supposed to be sweet, it is primarily a tart, sharp tartar sauce, as all good tartar sauces should be.
  9. If you want a sweet tartar sauce, just buy the stuff on the grocery shelf.
  10. Believe it or not, this will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for a couple months.
  11. If you want to extend the refrigerator life even longer, replace fresh onion with dried onion flakes (preferably the toasted ones), replace the fresh garlic with granulated garlic, and replace the fresh parsley with dried parsley flakes.
  12. I don’t normally eat this with fish, except a little on occasion, but I love to dip the french fries that accompany the fish in the tartar sauce.
  13. My wife, who hates tartar sauce, loves this one.
Most Helpful

Wonderful! My grandson loves tartar sauce with fries and so I've tried several on the site. This is our favorite hands-down. My grandson doesn't usually care for capers, but he's now a convert. The only thing that I will do differently next time, is to mash the capers a little before adding. I served this with Classic Fish and Chips for a delicious meal. Thanks for sharing Toby. Made for All You Can Cook Buffet tag.

lazyme March 14, 2012

You know it's good (with whatever your making) when you "lick the bowl" at the end. This is the very best tartar sauce I've ever tasted! Ever ever ever! I've tried many recipes and either they turn out too pickly tart without any unique flavor or too mayonaisy. It is tart, as it should be, but combined with all the other ingredients listed the final flavor is spectactualr! I made it for 2 of us and took the advice for substituting some of the fresh ingredients for dry to keep longer in the fridge. And, I used the minimum amounts as recommended and like others was perfect as is. Salt and pepper used was 1/2 tsp each and chopped up the capers. Thank you so much Toby! I can't stop licking the bowl and without a doubt will be using this as a dip for other purposes as well! Too bad I can't give it 10 stars!

Seashorewalker January 06, 2009

Don't look ant further, this is the best. I didn't have dill relish, so I used finely diced dill pickles. That was my only substitution; made the recipe exactly as instructed. Perfection!!

JT'sMom March 31, 2014