Creamy, smooth and absolutely delicious! A traditional Taramasalata recipe (or Taramosalata) made from fish roe, olive oil, lemon juice, grated onions and bread. It is often served as part of a meze platter for special occasions. Simply delicious!
So read along to discover how to make the very best taramasalata (taramosalata) recipe with my tips and tricks, my delicious recipe, serving suggestions and recipe variations!
What is Taramasalata?
Taramasalata (sometimes spelt taramosalata) is a delicious fish roe based dip made of salted and cured roe of cod or carp and sometimes, even grey mullet or bottarga. It is a velvety smooth dip that is mixed with olive oil and lemon juice and added to a starch base, which can be either bread of potatoes.
Taramasalata is commonly served during Shrove Monday, also known as “Clean” Monday, which is the first day of the Greek Easter lent. It is called “Clean Monday” because its the day where Greek Orthodox people cleansed their body and spirit and prepared themselves for the 40 days of Easter lent.
What you’ll need to make Taramasalata the traditional way
The store-bought taramasalata simply can’t compare with this homemade taramasalata recipe. Mass-produced taramasalata is, more often than not, of poor quality and has a very bright pink hue due to the addition of food colouring along with lots of unnecessary thickeners and preservatives.
Fresh taramasalata is really easy to make at home, as the tarama and bread mixture is emulsified with olive oil, giving it a natural thickness, smoothness and exquisite taste. Depending on the type of roe used, its colour can vary from light beige to pale pink.
To make your own taramasalata, all you will need is:
- White fish roe: You’ll need some white fish roe, such as cod, carp or mullet. While some supermarkets stock fish roe, your best bet would be to visit your local fishmonger and order some in advance.
- White bread: Grab yourself some crusty bread and leave it out of its bag for a couple of days to let its moisture reduce. Don’t forget to remove the crust and just use the white part. I would avoid sliced toasted bread as it is high in sugar and preservatives so it won’t go stale but rather it will turn mouldy first!
- Olive oil: Any good quality, extra virgin olive oil will give your taramasalata a delicious earthy flavour!
- Lemons: A couple of ripe lemons will give your taramasalata that extra zing and balance out the fish roe saltiness.
- Red onion: One medium sized red onion, finely grated, will give your sauce that extra “kick”.
Key Preparation Tips
Making taramasalata is very simple. Firstly you’ll need to remove the crust from your bread and soak it in water. Before moving on to the next step, make sure you squeeze out as much of the water as you can!
Then grab your food processor, add the bread, the finely grated onion and the tarama (fish roe). Blend it until the ingredients are mashed and resemble a pulp. Add half the lemon juice and blend a little bit more.
Now its time to emulsify your taramasalata. Take the inner lid off your food processor and turn it on medium speed. Slowly add the olive oil while blending, like making mayonnaise. Carry on blending until all of the oil is incorporated in the mixture and the taramasalata dip is smooth and creamy.
Next, grab a spoon and give your taramasalata a taste. Add some more lemon juice if you want some extra zing and blend again.
What to do if the fish roe is very salty
Depending on the type of fish roe, it may be more or less salty. If you find that your taramasalata is too salty, then add some more bread, oil and a bit of lemon juice to balance it out.
Alternatively, give your fish roe a taste before making it. If you find it too salty then soak it for 10-15 minutes in some water to remove the excess salt before making your taramasalata.
While I like to keep it traditional by adding just lemon juice and red onions, you can experiment by adding your favourite herbs and seasoning as well!
I find that died parsley complements the fish taste particularly well as it adds a bit of freshness to the dish. Also a sprinkling of paprika works great, especially with lighter coloured roes.
Finally, if you are a fan, you can also add one clove of peeled and crushed garlic. Just make sure you add half the garlic, blend, and taste it first, as the garlic can overpower the fish roe taste and turn your dip more to a Skordalia (greek garlic dip).
Making ahead of time and storing
You can make the tarama dip up to 7 days before you need it and simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also store any leftovers the same way!
Taramasalata is commonly served as part of a meze platter, especially on Shrove Monday, the first day of the Easter lent, together with some:
- Skordalia (garlic and potatoes dip)
- Hummus dip
- Μelitzanosalata (aubergine dip)
- Vegan tzatziki sauce
- Crispy Greek Fried Eggplant
- Crispy Fried Zucchini – Courgette Fritters
- Greek Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves with rice)
- Authentic Greek Fava Recipe (Yellow Split Peas Puree)
And of course some delicious lenten nibbles, like:
- Crispy fried calamari (kalamarakia tiganita)
- Tinos Fennel Fritters
- Tomatokeftedes (Fried Santorini Tomato Balls / Tomato Fritters)
- Or a more hearty dish like my Vegan moussaka with lentils
Of course no meze platter is complete without some delicious bread and pitas on the side!
- Traditional Greek Pita bread
- Greek “village style” rustic bread
- Easy sourdough bread
- Easy no knead bread
Taramasalata recipe (Greek Fish Roe dip or Taramosalata)
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 0 min
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 6 portions 1x
- Category: Dips
- Cuisine: Greek
A traditional, creamy and absolutely delicious Taramasalata recipe made in 15′! This Greek dip is made from fish roe, olive oil, lemons, onions and bread.
- 100g white tarama (fish roe) (3.5 oz.)
- 300g white stale bread (crust removed), soaked in water and squeezed (10 oz.)
- 170–180 ml olive oil (3/4 of a cup)
- juice 2 lemons
- 1 medium red onion, grated
- To prepare this delicious taramasalata recipe, start by soaking the bread (crust removed) in water and squeeze well to remove the excess water.
- In a food processor add the bread, grated onion and the tarama. Blend until the ingredients are mashed (like a pulp). Add half lemon juice and blend a little more. Pour in the olive oil gradually (just a little bit at a time) whilst blending, like making mayonnaise. Blend until the oil is incorporated and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste the taramasalata add some more lemon juice, according to preference and blend again.
- Serve this traditional Greek taramasalata dip with lots of home made pita breads aside.
- Serving Size: 1 portion
- Calories: 348kcal
- Sugar: 4g
- Sodium: 261.1mg
- Fat: 23.8g
- Saturated Fat: 3.6g
- Unsaturated Fat: 19.1g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 27.8g
- Fiber: 1.7g
- Protein: 8.4g
- Cholesterol: 62.3mg
Keywords: Taramasalata, Greek Fish Roe dip recipe, How to make Taramosalata, Tarama dip
Eli, I would like to make this gluten free by using potatoes instead of bread. Could you give us a conversion using potatoes. Please include the type and amount of potatoes and any changes to processing steps. Thanks.
I have never tried it with potatoes, but will give it a shot and come back to you.
Hi! I’m Asian (born and raised), and I don’t have any basic intelligence on Greek cuisine to save my life. But I ate taramasalata once, and I fell in love with it immediately (I’m surprised I haven’t married it yet!).
My question is, how long can I keep it in the fridge until it loses its freshness? And how do I know what fresh taramasalata tastes like? Thank you!
Do you prepare the roe yourself?
I’m wanting to make taramasalata with fresh roe I collect from fish I catch but haven’t been able to find the process for drying and preserving it.
I remember years ago it used to be coated in wax but I haven’t been able to find it lately.
Best if made the day before you plan to serve it. Freshly made, mine tasted of nothing but lemons, but a day later the flavours had blended and it was really good.
Hard to believe a website called “mygreekdish” would actually allow the word “taramAsalata” on it. Shame.
Hi there! The only reason this word is in there is because lots of people are searching for the recipe using that keyword. Over 2000 searches in the past couple of months! Hence I had to place that word somewhere in the article to allow them to find it when searching.
That is how I found this site! I’m glad you did use the word, “taramasalata”. If not I would not have been able to make this for my son. A special occasion dish tonight. Thank you for posting the recipe.
Hi, The only way I found this site was because I spelt the word incorrectly too, but now I know. There’s no need for such a caustic comment re spelling. It’s obvious why you have both variations on your site. Found this site tonight and can’t wait to try your recipes, x
I miss good taramasalata. Where can I buy the roe please? I am in Florida.
Hm Im not sure. When I was living in London, I was buying mine from the local fishmonger. Had to order it a few days in advance for him to bring it in.
Greek Boys Choice foods in Tarpon Springs Fl
My children and I always spend at least one day in Tarpon Springs when we visit Florida. The food is wonderful. We enjoy the little shops, especially Get A Guru homemade soaps! Always a fun day.
Have just found your site and find it delightful. Thank you. I guess those that moan about the spelling have nothing better to do with their lives! I will go and try some recipes
My thoughts also!
Would you be able to tell me where on the upper east side of Manhattan I might be able to find the fish roe to make the Tarama Dip. Many thanks!
Do you use raw fish roe?
How should the raw fish roe be prepared?
I ordered Fantis Tarama on Amazon . I’m going to make some taramosalata this weekend. I kind of remembered how to make it having grown up in a Greek-American household and having watched my parents prepare it. But your recipe helped refresh my recollections.The method is similar to skordhalia which can be prepared with bread, potato or a combination of both. I don’t think I’ve ever had Taramosalata made with potato but it should work.
What is the correct spelling? The jars all say “tarama” on them.
Its spelled 2 different ways – tarama is the fish roe and in Greece its called taramosalata but its mostly known abroad as taramasalata! 🙂
I used tarmac from a jar I found in a Russian shop. It worked really well. The yield is quite generous. Shallot works if you don’t have red onions. It tastes great. I am looking forward to eating some tonight.
Indeed shallots work very well too! I’m so glad you loved it :)!!
Do I have to use raw roe? Or already cooked? Here in Spain they can be found cooked on salt but the final result is a salty hard roe to be cut with a knife. Should I use that? In all the videos in YouTube I see that tarama is like a soft paste. So I am lost
I think you’re finding the dehydrated, cured fish roe – called Bottarga in English (avgotaraho). This wouldn’t work as its dry and won’t make your dip be a dip but much more solid as you’ve seen. You need to use raw roe I am afraid to get the right paste texture and for it not to be too salty.
I have been trying to homemake taramosalat (I cant eat gluten) but I had no idea it was made from raw roe. Your recipe and last comment are very helpful. Thank you
Hi there, I’m excited to try this recipe. I have some sourdough bread that needs to be used, but it has the crust on and, as I’ve already weighed and soaked it, I’m going to go ahead and use it. I guess I will soon find out what difference that makes to the texture, but just wondering if anyone could advise why this is the case? In part, I’m struggling to imagine my Greek grandparents discarding any part of the btead; “waste not, want not”!