Pourhouse Restaurant's smoked salmon tartare

Image for Pourhouse Restaurant's Smoked Salmon Tartare

Foodies in Canada know that Vancouver is full of good food. And within Vancouver, locals flock to Gastown for restaurants, bars, cafes and breweries. To capture the essence of the people and places behind some of the most popular spots in neighbourhood, author Chris Degenais and photographer Brad Hill concocted Gastown Foodie Cookbook. In it, you'll find recipes from some of the areas best dishes. 

If you like the Pourhouse's smoked salmon tartare, you can now make it at home with this recipe. You'll want to smoke the salmon one to two days before you're planning to serve this. And, if you don't have a smoker, you can use a smoke gun to cold-smoke the salmon with the instructions below.

Smoked salmon

425 g salt
10 cups water
50 g maple syrup
1 filet salmon
smoking wood chips

In a large container with a lid, stir together the salt, water and maple syrup into a brine. Place the salmon into the brine skin side down.

Place the lid on the container and put the container in the fridge and allow to brine for 12 hours. Flip the salmon so it is skin side up and brine for another 12 hours.

Remove the salmon from the brine and rinse under cold water.

Follow the instructions for your smoker to cold smoke the salmon for 2 hours using your favourite wood. Placing a tray full of ice in the smoker (replenishing the ice regularly is a good trick to keep the temperature low).

Place the salmon on a tray and refrigerate uncovered in the fridge for 6 hours so it dries out a bit.  

* If you don’t have a smoker you could also use a smoking gun, an oven dish large enough to comfortably hold the salmon, plastic wrap and masking tape. Place the salmon skin side down in the dish. Cover the dish securely with the plastic wrap. Cut a small hole in the wrap for the smoking gun’s hose and another small hole on the other side of the dish to let air escape. Fill the dish with smoke and then cover the holes with masking tape. Refresh the smoke 3 or 4 times in the 2 hours of smoking time.



Roasted and marinated peppers

2 red bell peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Split the peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds and core. Place on an oven tray and blacken the skins under the broiler.

Place the charred peppers in a container with a lid for at least 10 minutes so the steam loosens the skin. Remove the skin and cut the flesh into a small dice.

Season with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.


Confit tomatoes

4 roma tomatoes
1 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut a small "x" into the bottom of the tomatoes, blanch for 20 seconds in boiling water then transfer to an ice bath.

Peel the skin off the tomatoes (the cut should make this easy), and place in a small ovenproof dish with the remaining ingredients.

Cover and place in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove from oven, drain the oil and allow to cool.

Chop tomatoes into a fine dice and season with salt and pepper to taste.



4 avocados
2 limes
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Dice avocados and place in a bowl.

Zest and juice the limes and stir through the avocado.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Salsa verde

2 bunches basil
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch mint
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Rinse all the herbs in water and pat dry.

Add half of the olive oil and all the remaining ingredients to a blender.

Blitz and slowly add the remaining olive oil until the purée becomes smooth. (Do not over blitz; it’s best to use the pulse function.)

Season with salt and pepper to taste and cool in the fridge.


To serve

1 recipe smoked salmon
1 recipe marinated peppers
1 recipe confit tomatoes
1 recipe guacamole
olive oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Smoked Salmon*

Marinated Peppers*

Confit Tomatoes*



Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Micro greens


1. For each portion of tartare being served, you will need around 80g of salmon, 1 Tbsp of the marinated peppers and 1 Tbsp of the confit tomatoes.

2. Dice the salmon and mix with the measured quantities of tomatoes and peppers in a bowl.

3. Add a sprinkle of chopped chives, a squirt of good olive oil and a little salt and pepper if necessary. 

4. Layer and smooth out 1½ Tbsp of the guacamole into a ring mold on a serving plate.

5. Layer the salmon mixture into ring mold on top of the guacamole and smooth it out evenly.

6. Spoon ½ Tbsp of the salsa verde around the tartare on the plate.  If it is too dense, stir in a little more olive oil first.

7. Top with some micro greens as a garnish and serve with crostini on the side.


4 to 6 servings