Years ago I discovered whitefish salad at my local grocery store. Think tuna salad but with a much better smoky fish flavor.
Unfortunately, the product was discontinued and I haven’t been able to find a substitute. Years later, I stumbled on an amazing whitefish salad at The Sippery, a cafe located in one of the St. Louis high-end malls. I only ordered it a few times because I not only hate malls, but I almost never had a reason to go to the mall that was flanked by Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
And then the Sippery closed…so even if I was willing to brave the mall experience, I couldn’t get my beloved whitefish salad.
I’ve tried a few recipes for Whitefish Salad, but most are made with cream cheese and result in something more like a spread that should go on crackers than a mayo based salad for a sandwich or topped on a salad.
After a bit of trial and error, I’ve found a recipe that I really like.
I started with a recipe by The Shiska in the Kitchen and modified it a bit.
The Shiska recipe page also includes a history of the use of whitefish by Jews and how to cure the fish if you opt to start with fresh fish.
I hate celery, so I left that out. But if you like it, feel free to add some back in. I’ve also at times made this recipe from ‘chubs’, which are smaller versions of whitefish and much cheaper at the grocery store.
Make sure when you pick out your fish, it is already smoked. This time, I opted for fish fillets that were already deboned (though I still found a few). Usually, I just buy the whole fish (minus the head) and do it myself.
Start by assembling your ingredients.
You will need:
- 2 lb. whole or fillet smoked whitefish
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup light sour cream
- 2 tbsp dill weed
- 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper (freshly cracked)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh is preferred)
To start, you need to remove the skin and bones and flake your fish. Watch out for the tiny pin bones even if you buy a deboned filet like I did this time. I found at least a dozen tiny bones that are not much thicker than a hair and about 1 inch long.
Once you have the fish flaked, combine all of the ingredients. Seal it up in an airtight container and let the flavors combine overnight for the best flavor.
Then enjoy a scoop for lunch on its own, on top of a salad, in a sandwich or spread some on crackers.
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