HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Tell us about it

Does anyone eat tartar sauce with anything other than fish?

fldhkybnva Jan 20, 2013 01:41 PM

Love tartar sauce, great sauce with fish. Does anyone use it with anything else? Just wondering. SO loves it with steak, but many a person stares at him oddly when he suggests it.

  1. BobB Mar 12, 2013 11:57 AM

    Tell your SO to stare right back at those ignorant onlookers. Tartar sauce was actually INVENTED to accompany steak - specifically, steak tartare. Hence the name.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BobB
      fldhkybnva Mar 12, 2013 01:05 PM

      Yea, although I guess they argue it's different but he goes right ahead with the tartar sauce.

    2. grampart Mar 12, 2013 07:34 AM

      There are so many versions of tartar sauce. The type of vinegar used (I like Tarragon or Malt) can make a huge difference in taste. Some folks use lemon juice. Some use capers or chopped olives. I've seen examples that look like nothing more than mayo and hot dog relish. If you want a "special sauce" for fish or whatever, I would suggest looking at different recipes and rejecting the notion that tartar sauce HAS to be made any particular way.

      1. i
        italianyc84 Mar 12, 2013 07:18 AM

        I have a friend who gets tartar sauce on his Big Mac instead of the "special sauce".

        1. p
          pine time Mar 11, 2013 02:25 PM

          I made a huge pile of samosas last week (we eat 'em as a main, not an appetizer), and in addition to the usual suspects as dippers, added a little bowl of tartar sauce. Odd at first, but we wiped out the bowl!

          1. b
            Bkeats Mar 6, 2013 06:38 AM

            Isn't the special sauce that McD's uses on the 1/4 pounder tartar sauce? Looks and tastes a lot like it to me from what I recall.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Bkeats
              Bill Hunt Mar 6, 2013 06:43 PM

              That might have been a "tartar sauce," mixed with some form of plastic, but was another reason that I seldom even accept tartar sauce, anywhere.


              1. re: Bill Hunt
                alkapal Mar 7, 2013 04:40 AM

                you've had plasticized tartar sauce? never heard of such!

              2. re: Bkeats
                hill food Mar 6, 2013 07:01 PM

                I think you might mean the Big Mac and it's a variation of tartar/1000 island IIRC.

                1. re: hill food
                  Bill Hunt Mar 6, 2013 08:17 PM

                  Since I have never had a "Big Mac," I am not sure if you are correct, or not. About 30 years ago I DID have a McDonald's Fish Sandwich, but requested catsup-only, so never had their version of a "special sauce," or "tartar sauce." Guess that I am just a bad example.


                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                    alkapal Mar 7, 2013 04:40 AM

                    yes, mr. hunt, ketchup on a mcdonald's fish sandwich is a bad example. LOL.
                    as to the "special" big mac sauce, here is a clone --> http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/McDon...

                  2. re: hill food
                    Bkeats Mar 7, 2013 07:29 AM

                    You're right. Its been a long time since I've had either.

                2. f
                  FutureChefAdam Mar 6, 2013 04:24 AM

                  French fries are by far my favorite thing to eat with tartar sauce!

                  1. m
                    mexivilla Mar 6, 2013 04:18 AM

                    El Universal,a Mexico City newspaper, published a recipe today for Empanadas with tartar sauce. Sounds good to me.

                    1. Bill Hunt Mar 5, 2013 06:52 PM

                      With but a very, very few exceptions, I do not eat Tartar Sauce, even WITH fish.


                      1. alkapal Jan 30, 2013 05:22 AM

                        fried shrimp, fried clams, crab cakes, hushpuppies….

                        i made a great version the other day -- for crabcakes-- trying to duplicate (but then went much further than) the terrific cracker barrel tartar sauce. (ps, if anyone has a clone recipe, please share it).

                        mine had: green onions (because my other onions were going off), various green olives from the gourmet store, mayo, a touch of mustard, capers, and some dill pickle, a touch of garlic powder, a touch of horseradish, and a whiff of old bay -- just a whiff because it was for crabcakes ;), it wasn't cracker barrel's tartar sauce, but it was delicious nonetheless. it was one of those, "i'll know it when i taste it -- keep on tweaking" recipes. LOL. oh, there was a splash of something acidic… lemon juice, i think.

                        seeing will owen's post, it reminds me that deviled eggs are indeed wonderful with tartar sauce in the yolk filling.

                        1. s
                          subal Jan 29, 2013 08:38 PM

                          +1 on fries!

                          1. KaimukiMan Jan 29, 2013 07:55 PM

                            Interesting to note that (according to wikipedia) tartar sauce was once commonly served with steak tartare of all things. Imagine that.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: KaimukiMan
                              jbsiegel Jan 30, 2013 05:00 AM

                              That actually sounds pretty good!

                            2. s
                              shoo bee doo Jan 27, 2013 02:09 PM

                              On many menus in Slovenia, there's fried cheese with tartar sauce. It's quite good.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: shoo bee doo
                                shoo bee doo Mar 5, 2013 03:01 PM

                                When I lived in Georgia, someone showed me how to eat hush puppies with tartar sauce. Since I'm back in Minnesota, I hardly ever have hush puppies, but now I want some. With good tartar sauce, of course.

                              2. i
                                INDIANRIVERFL Jan 22, 2013 02:35 PM

                                Two all beef patties, lettuce, cheese, pickle, onion on a sesame seed bun. With a touch of ketchup.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                  suzigirl Jan 22, 2013 02:40 PM

                                  No ketchup in the special sauce. Its pink from paprika. I was schooled on that recently.

                                  1. re: suzigirl
                                    INDIANRIVERFL Jan 22, 2013 02:44 PM

                                    Thank You:)

                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                      suzigirl Jan 22, 2013 02:49 PM

                                      Extra special sauce on my two all beef patties please

                                    2. re: suzigirl
                                      Fredl Mar 3, 2013 07:46 PM

                                      The best clone is kraft tarter sauce and french dressing . the french dressing has paprika.

                                      1. re: Fredl
                                        suzigirl Mar 5, 2013 12:13 PM

                                        I will have to try that. Thanks

                                  2. kpaumer Jan 22, 2013 01:05 PM

                                    Funny you should mention tartar sauce! As God is my witness I shall NEVER eat tartar sauce from a packet AGAIN! I hate those nasty little packets,first I'm left handed and they a B!T#% to open, and when you do get them open the TS resembles Elmer's glue, numerous ingredients, all of
                                    which I cannot pronounce. I recently had a bad experience at White Castle, the TS used to come in little tubs, easy to open and perfect for dipping the fish "nibblers", now they switched to the packets. I damn near choked when a plastic corner of the torn packet found its way on my fish, I started choking, while driving and had to pull over (not to mention I had to go to the bathroom) ever choke and have to pee at the same time, I can laugh now, but it was pretty ugly then. So from now on I will make TS at home and put some in my travel cooler, just in case!

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: kpaumer
                                      Chemicalkinetics Jan 22, 2013 02:09 PM

                                      <first I'm left handed >

                                      That shouldn't matter.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        hill food Jan 22, 2013 11:03 PM

                                        yeah really, just turn the packet over and rip it open backwards. (and while driving? yeesh, this is why the good lord invented parking lots)

                                        besides one doesn't go to White Castle for any class of fish. there are reasons, but that's not one of them.

                                      2. re: kpaumer
                                        fldhkybnva Jan 22, 2013 03:15 PM

                                        Does your left-handedness make all packets difficult to use like ketchup, mustard, as well or is there something in particular about tartar sauce?

                                      3. m
                                        mexivilla Jan 22, 2013 07:10 AM

                                        From a Chowhound recommendation some time ago I now use it with avocado.

                                        1. KaimukiMan Jan 21, 2013 09:47 PM

                                          I'm not a huge tartar sauce fan myself, but I have a friend who puts it on almost anything fried, and any sandwich he makes (except pb&j) I kinda get weirded out when he puts it on pastrami, but then I'm one who believes that only mustard should go on pastrami. Who am I to judge?

                                          1. Chemicalkinetics Jan 21, 2013 09:40 PM

                                            Yeah, usually on other fried foods, including fries, potato tots, hash brown...etc..etc.

                                            1. phofiend Jan 21, 2013 09:35 PM

                                              I use it as a sandwich spread instead of mayonnaise. Love it on turkey sandwiches and BLTs.

                                              1. EWSflash Jan 21, 2013 08:09 PM

                                                One day at work I got a grilled chicken sangwich (my beloved son's pronunciation) when the grill special was a fish sandwich and I sneaked a little cup of tartar sauce. It was good- these days I'm always amazed when an anything is better than usual. It wasn't the usual tartar, it had much less dill flavor, and I thought it was great. I should tell them that, but it's fattening and the way they're going it will turn to shit soon enough and then they'll use fat-free something and it will hit the skids like almost everything else has.

                                                1. e
                                                  Erika L Jan 21, 2013 03:34 PM

                                                  French fries and onions rings. Yes, I live in Seattle.

                                                  1. tim irvine Jan 21, 2013 11:37 AM


                                                    1. njmarshall55 Jan 21, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                      Nope. Seafood only. Maybe I should read on.

                                                      1. NonnieMuss Jan 21, 2013 07:49 AM

                                                        Frisch's/Bob's/Big Boy - They put them on their Big Boy burgers, which is a once-a-month splurge for me. They are generous with extra too. Disgusting, unhealthy, and sooo delicious.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                          pine time Jan 21, 2013 03:29 PM

                                                          I was reading quickly to see if anyone else would say Big Boy (it was Frisch's where I grew up). I still sometimes add a blob onto my homemade hamburgers.

                                                        2. a
                                                          amazinc Jan 21, 2013 07:38 AM

                                                          Large size Fritos. Yummmmmmmmmmmmm, along with
                                                          ALL the other fried items listed above.

                                                          1. f
                                                            Fydeaux Jan 21, 2013 06:01 AM

                                                            I like to mix a few drops of Tabasco in and dip pretzels or sesame sticks in it. And fries.

                                                            1. b
                                                              Boychucker Jan 20, 2013 08:55 PM

                                                              French fries and grilled cheese sandwiches. Plus fried seafood.

                                                              1. ipsedixit Jan 20, 2013 08:36 PM

                                                                Vending machine burritos

                                                                Ruffles potato chips

                                                                Frozen prepackaged scallion pancakes

                                                                Chicken nuggets

                                                                Zucchini bread.


                                                                10 Replies
                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                  KarenDW Jan 20, 2013 09:14 PM

                                                                  omg. potato chips. why didn't I think of that!

                                                                  1. re: KarenDW
                                                                    ipsedixit Jan 20, 2013 09:25 PM

                                                                    It's sort of like a ranch dressing sour cream combo.

                                                                    1. re: KarenDW
                                                                      fldhkybnva Jan 20, 2013 09:49 PM

                                                                      My thought exactly...! I love Ruffles and sour cream onion dip, tartar sauce would probably also grow into a quick love.

                                                                    2. re: ipsedixit
                                                                      latindancer Jan 20, 2013 09:42 PM


                                                                      That's quite an array you've got going there :).

                                                                      "Vending machine burritos"? Yum....where do you get those, other than from a vending machine?

                                                                      1. re: latindancer
                                                                        ipsedixit Jan 20, 2013 09:46 PM

                                                                        Re vending machine burritos

                                                                        They used to have them at a place I used to work at.

                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                          latindancer Jan 20, 2013 10:03 PM

                                                                          Your tastes in food are great so I would imagine they were pretty good.
                                                                          Everytime I go through a drive thru, including today, and get a fish filet I think of you. I actually thought about asking for extra tartar sauce.

                                                                          1. re: latindancer
                                                                            hill food Jan 21, 2013 06:16 AM

                                                                            "Re vending machine burritos"

                                                                            the cheapest kind you can find at a 7-11 or the kind that come 10 to a freezer box at the grocery store. darn close.

                                                                            1. re: latindancer
                                                                              ipsedixit Jan 21, 2013 11:23 AM

                                                                              Your tastes in food are great so I would imagine they were pretty good.

                                                                              Uh, wait a minute, latindancer.

                                                                              By no means am my actually recommending a vending machine burrito, even if it was drenched in tartar sauce.

                                                                              I had to eat vending machine burritos more as a last resort -- a means of pure survival -- than anything else. When you have to pull an all-nighter, and the hunger pangs strike at 2 a.m., you'll just eat about anything ... as long as it has tartar sauce!

                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                latindancer Jan 21, 2013 04:28 PM

                                                                                I posted with a little 'tongue and cheek' knowing that was probably the case...

                                                                                I will say I did respond because I can relate, and I'm sure others can too....we're not all eating outstanding food 24/7, situations do arise.
                                                                                It was on one of my many long, tiring and alone trips across the desert where you don't see another human being for 100 miles. Out of nowhere, hungry and thirsty and in need of gas, a little greasy, old, dusty and weathered station appeared. I bought 2 prepackaged strange smelling hardboiled eggs and some very old, grey, cold coffee and drank water out of the hose.
                                                                                I wish I'd had tartar sauce.

                                                                                1. re: latindancer
                                                                                  jrvedivici Jan 21, 2013 09:02 PM

                                                                                  I'm calling Spielberg I think we have a movie here! "Night in the Desert of The Latin Dancer"

                                                                      2. mokafeinomane Jan 20, 2013 08:17 PM

                                                                        Fried shrimps, meat or vegetable croquettes, fish pie, crab cakes, chicken fingers, steak tartare (yes, really)...

                                                                        Or anything fried really.

                                                                        But served with steak does not strike me as particularily odd,many steak sauces contain capers, or cornichons, or eggs. The mayo part, maybe. But the sauce Ravigote strikes me as a 'similar' recipe, warm of course.

                                                                        1. prima Jan 20, 2013 07:53 PM

                                                                          A friend told me deep-fried breaded brie stuffed with sausage, served with tartar sauce on the side as dip, was a popular snack served at movie theatres, when he lived in the Czech Replublic in the late 90s.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: prima
                                                                            Exy00 Jan 27, 2013 01:13 PM

                                                                            That sounds . . . amazing. I think I got fatter just reading it.

                                                                            1. re: prima
                                                                              alkapal Jan 30, 2013 05:29 AM

                                                                              wow -- and chowhounds give paula deen grief for *her* dishes. LOL. like exy00, i think i gained a pound reading the description.

                                                                              what an odd combination -- i mean, brie…sausage…deep-fried…then TARTAR sauce? very multicultural. i'd love to know how that concoction came about….

                                                                            2. fldhkybnva Jan 20, 2013 07:32 PM

                                                                              It seems that the response to SO might make some sense as all of the favorites below relate to seafood. I wonder why tartar sauce hasn't run into other meats more often.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                ipsedixit Jan 20, 2013 07:39 PM

                                                                                It seems that the response to SO might make some sense as all of the favorites below relate to seafood.


                                                                                Most of the responses relate to french fries.

                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                  fldhkybnva Jan 20, 2013 07:45 PM

                                                                                  Oh, true I am a bit dazed after the Ravens game but yea you are right. French fries, seafood and things served alongside seafood.

                                                                              2. Bacardi1 Jan 20, 2013 04:12 PM

                                                                                Fried Oysters, clams, shrimp, etc. (although that's really "fish); fried okra, fried green tomatoes, & hushpuppies.

                                                                                Oh, & I also enjoy what's more of a garlic/tarragon aioli than a true tartar sauce with boiled chilled lobster, shrimp, etc., etc., but sometimes I manage to sneak in some chopped cornichon pickles.

                                                                                1. waitress Jan 20, 2013 04:03 PM

                                                                                  Hushpuppies!! My dad owned a grill when I was a kid, he made tartar sauce with dill pickles and we would put it on hamburgers.

                                                                                  I make tartar sauce with bread&butter, dill and capers. It's so good!!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: waitress
                                                                                    vttp926 Mar 5, 2013 05:02 PM

                                                                                    I 2nd the hushpuppies!

                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                    mmalmad Jan 20, 2013 03:19 PM

                                                                                    Most anything fried

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: mmalmad
                                                                                      jbsiegel Jan 21, 2013 04:58 AM

                                                                                      I was going to say the exact same thing...fries, chicken fingers, onion rings, etc. I could see it on a baked potato as well.

                                                                                    2. n
                                                                                      nmtemp Jan 20, 2013 03:13 PM

                                                                                      In seattle french frys are not dipped in Ketchup

                                                                                      1. s
                                                                                        suzigirl Jan 20, 2013 02:52 PM

                                                                                        My two favorite things are fried okra and fried green tomatoes. I like it on popcorn shrimp and clam strips and fried oysters. I like it as a sandwich spread also

                                                                                        1. Will Owen Jan 20, 2013 02:34 PM

                                                                                          Second for fries. When I get the fish & chips at what used to be Hamburger Hamlet, I ask for extra tartar sauce and then use it ALL on the fries.

                                                                                          It's good in devilled eggs or egg salad too. When I was a kid, the tartar sauce my mom made was basically chopped dill pickle and chopped egg in mayonnaise, sort of like a shortcut sauce gribiche. Commercial tartar sauce being eggless, using it with egg works very nicely. I think it would also be good in ham salad.

                                                                                          1. t
                                                                                            treb Jan 20, 2013 01:58 PM

                                                                                            Onion rings, fries.

                                                                                            1. f
                                                                                              foodieX2 Jan 20, 2013 01:41 PM

                                                                                              I dip french fries in it.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                MsMaryMc Jan 20, 2013 02:03 PM

                                                                                                I hadn't heard of that until I moved to the Pacific Northwest. I still prefer thousand island dressing, but tartar sauce is the standard dip here.

                                                                                                1. re: MsMaryMc
                                                                                                  foodieX2 Jan 20, 2013 02:22 PM

                                                                                                  I am a born/raised New Englander. Maybe it because fried clams/fish always come with FF's but I love the combo. A dip in ketchup and a dip in tartar. Perfection!

                                                                                                  1. re: MsMaryMc
                                                                                                    latindancer Jan 20, 2013 02:37 PM

                                                                                                    Dick's Drive In fries & their tartar sauce.

                                                                                                  2. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                    Terrie H. Jan 20, 2013 02:51 PM

                                                                                                    Always my favorite for my fries.

                                                                                                  Show Hidden Posts