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Adding "Zing" to a Quick Seafood Sauce

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Add some heat! It's a well known fact around the Whitaker household that I enjoy my tartar sauce.

When it comes to seafood night in the kitchen, on the grill or as a boil, there better be some form of tartar sauce available to complete my meal.  Come to think of it, I love a good sauce of any kind.  Ally requires lemon and butter with her chosen seafood which most often is scallops.  Our son Mace searches for crab legs and hush puppies. The canine pups in the family will take whatever they are offered it seems.

In all honesty, even if it is a meal of flash frozen fish sticks from the Mega Mart, I will end up making some sort of homemade sauce.  It may not be considered a "real" tartar sauce by some chefs out there.  No capers in my version, and I don't add minced olives but I can. The great thing about this recipe is that you can adjust as you desire.  That is a common theme in many of my recipes.

When it comes to tartar sauce, I can say comfortably that I have not bought a bottle off a store shelf in over a decade.  If I did, then it was an emergency.  Use the recipe as a starter and make your own version.  I like mine with a little zing to it.

One Note: This is a onetime use recipe. You can store it for a day, covered, in the fridge if needed. However; the lemon or lime juice will start breaking down the mayo. It will lose its appeal. So stick to small and fresh!


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion grated
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 tablespoon mustard (Dijon if desired)
  • Dash of lemon or lime juice
  • Dash of parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Mix all the above ingredients together thoroughly. Chill before serving.

Kent Whitaker

Kent Whitaker, also known as "The Deck Chef," is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He's also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.

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