salmon tajine

Salmon Tajine in Mustard Caper Sauce Recipe.

Salmon Tajine in Mustard Caper Sauce is one of my favorite salmon dishes:

It is so simple, so zippy and so delicious.

We Sephardis are suckers for Mustard-Caper-Lemon Trinity.

Here is just about all you need to know when you make salmon tajine or any other salmon recipe, beside of course that it has to be perfectly fresh, like all fish: Never overcook it, or it will toughen, even if it has plenty of liquid surrounding it.

If there is another thick white-flesh fish you find well priced on shopping day, by all means use it in this dish instead of the salmon: cod, scrod, tilapia, branzino etc…

This salmon tajine cooks on a stovetop, like all tajines.

But you can bake it as well.

In this case: blend all ingredients to a paste, bake as a whole salmon side, and use the exact same ingredients, omitting the water (no water at all), and bake it at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, or a drop longer, until it is just barely firm.

You can make this recipe with Chicken Cutlets!

Scroll down for that variation!

You will love the fishball variation!


  • 8 serving pieces salmon fillet
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Good pinch saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup tiny capers, rinsed
  • 1 large lemon, sliced thin (remove any pits as you slice)
  • 8 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • Good pinch cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 5-6 sprigs flat parsley, minced


Bring the first set of ingredients to boil in a wide heavy pot, making sure the fish is arranged in one layer. Reduce the flame to medium and cook, covered, 20 minutes. Transfer the fish to a platter with a slotted spoon. Stir the mustard and parsley into the cooking liquid, and cook until the sauce is thickened, 2-3 more minutes. Pour the sauce over the fish. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Variation: Chicken Cutlets in Lemon Mustard Sauce

I made this dish at a cooking demo in Fairway a few years ago.
Follow exact recipe, substituting 8 chicken cutlets, medium thick (just to be clear: Do not pound them thin, leave them nice and thick, even thickness everywhere)

2 replies
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Leah for all these stovetop dishes, here is what I use. Including the whole blurb, straight from my cookbook:
      I won’t say a word about what brand pots to pick, simply because I never want you to think that in order for you to be a good cook, you need to invest in some extravagantly priced cookware. What I do want to recommend for your pots, though, are the following pointers:
      • Heavy gauge, called in the business 18/10.
      • The layer directly in contact with the food must not be aluminum, as it is reactive and will leach into your food, resulting not only in a metallic off-taste but in real health hazards. (Which is the reason, by the way, you shouldn’t be cooking or baking in disposable aluminum pans. Only warming up is acceptable in disposables.) It’s OK, it’s good even, if the bottom or intermediate layer of your pot is aluminum, as it is a great heat conductor—meaning your food will cook evenly—just as long as the inside of the pot is not. We want our food to be in direct contact with stainless steel, copper, or enamel. Recently my daughter Bella replied to my question “Did you make sure you used a real cake pan?” with “Come on, Mommy. I’m your daughter. How could I use disposable?”
      • A wide bottom. It makes all stove-top preparations a pleasure, as there is minimal piling and therefore allows for much better control. There’s nothing you can’t do with a broad and shallow pot: Instead of the impractical 9-inch round, 12-inch- high stock pot, get a 12- or even 14-inch, 6-inch-high pot. Same goes for skillet: Nice and broad please! This cute Aesop fable will make my point in full: The fox invited the stork to his house and served her food in a wide shallow bowl; and of course she couldn’t get to it, so the foxy fox polished off her meal as well, just as he had planned all along. When she
      invited him, she served him in a long narrow bowl, and feasted on her food . . . and his. You have guessed it: We are the foxes!

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