We were surviving on store-bought food for months after the Little King arrived. When he turned 6 months old, we looked at our expanding waistline and decided it was time for more home-cooked meals.
How could we get dinner on the table quickly every night while a human is strapped to me without burning down the kitchen?
Homemade sauces came to the rescue.
Making a sauce requires no cooking. Hot pans are dangerous around a flailing infant who stretches like an elastic band to grab everything.
My sauces typically require 5 minutes or less. They transform dreary boiled vegetables into delightful gems.
This sauce, rémoulade, comes with a French name (the accent on the é is important). It makes you feel fancy, even when you’re blanching in pajama pants.
We have been eating this sauce almost every night for 2 weeks. We’ve spread it on salmon burgers and veggie patties. I’ve dipped carrot sticks, boiled broccoli, and falafel into the sauce. We made a salad dressing by thinning it out.
Let’s learn what rémoulade is all about and why you’ll love it.
What is it?
Rémoulade sauce originated in France as a mayonnaise-based sauce served with meats, especially beef. Today, it’s a popular sauce enjoyed throughout Europe and in Louisiana Cajun cuisine.
Take tartar sauce and add extras, like anchovies, capers, hot sauce, horseradish sauce, and/or spices. You’ve got rémoulade!
What does rémoulade sauce taste like?
NOTE: While anchovies have a distinct taste, it’s not obvious in the sauce. The anchovies add depth and umami. If you dislike anchovies, you may still enjoy them in the sauce. Skip them if you’re making a vegetarian version.
There is also a French rémoulade sauce variant for dressing celeriac, which is more of a mustard-based oil and vinegar salad dressing.
Louisiana Creole-style rémoulade typically has more spices, such as ground cayenne and paprika. It may contain ketchup (tomato sauce), which gives it a piquant character.
What color is rémoulade sauce?
Louisiana rémoulade sauce has a pinker color from mixing in brown mustard, cayenne, paprika, and ketchup that all give the sauce a salmon color.
Danish rémoulade sauce often includes curry powder or turmeric, which gives it a pale lemon yellow color.
What is the difference between mayonnaise and rémoulade?
Rémoulade is made from mayonnaise with other ingredients mixed in, such as shallots, herbs, capers, and anchovies.
What’s the difference between an aioli and rémoulade?
What is rémoulade sauce made of?
Because there are so many variations on rémoulade sauce, it can include or exclude different ingredients.
Let’s cover the main components. Then I’ll list optional ingredients you can add to create different variations.
- Base: Mayonnaise gives you a thick sauce (we’ll cover variations below for lighter and vegan options)
- Mustard: Yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, moutarde a l’ancienne (old-fashioned mustard with whole grains), brown mustard (Cajun-style mustard)
- Pickles: Chopped pickles, gherkins, or cornichons, capers, olives, etc.
- Alliums (optional): While finely chopped raw shallots are most common, chopped green onions or garlic may also be added
- Anchovies (optional): Chopped anchovies or anchovy paste.
- Acid (optional): Vinegar or lemon juice
- Herbs (optional): Chopped dill, tarragon, chives, etc.
- Seasonings (optional): Paprika, cayenne pepper, turmeric
- Other sauces (optional): Ketchup (tomato sauce), horseradish, hot sauce
NOTE: The most common ingredients across the variations are the base (mayo), shallots, mustard, vinegar, pickles, and herbs. Add the optional ingredients for fancy variations or skip them for a minimalist version.
Is there dairy in remoulade?
Typically, rémoulade is dairy free and vegetarian (not vegan because of the eggs in mayonnaise). Unless you use yogurt, sour cream, or crème fraîche (all reasonable substitutes) instead of mayo, rémoulade is dairy free.
Here are different types of rémoulade you can make inspired by different countries and uses for rémoulade sauce.
Mix up the “base” with the extra ingredients below following the same recipe instructions.
- Louisiana rémoulade (Here is an example of a recipe):
- Danish rémoulade (Here is an example of a recipe): Contains 1 tablespoon each of the following finely chopped ingredients
- French rémoulade for celeriac salad (Here is an example of a recipe):
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- 4 tablespoons of yogurt (or crème fraîche)
- 1 tablespoon of chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
RELATED: Ideas for making a vegan version tartar sauce also apply to rémoulade. You can use a vegan base, such as vegan mayonnaise. Or try pureed avocado (it’ll taste like a different sauce inspired by rémoulade).
Tips for success
- How to scale the recipe: The recipe scales linearly. You can double and triple the ingredients without any problems.
- If you plan on making the recipe in advance and using homemade mayonnaise, I would make only as much as you can consume in 1 week. Homemade mayonnaise from scratch uses raw eggs so your rémoulade may not last as long as using store-bought mayonnaise.
Homemade easy & simple rémoulade sauce
- 1 Knife
- 1 Chopping Board
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 Spatula
- 5 cornichons, or pickles, gherkins, etc.
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 shallot, optional
- ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon ground paprika, optional
- 1 tablespoon capers, optional
- 3 filets anchovies, optional
- 3 sprigs dill, or other herbs
- Gather the ingredients.
- If using cornichons (or pickles), capers, anchovies, shallots and herbs, finely chop those ingredients. You only need about 1 tablespoon of chopped shallots (more or less as you prefer).
- Add all the ingredients into a bowl together.
- Mix all the ingredients together.
- Enjoy your rémoulade sauce! It will taste better the more time it rests.
Rémoulade is a great sauce to make in advance. Allowing the ingredients to blend overnight will make the sauce taste even better.
Store the rémoulade in a sealed container in the fridge.
TIP: Use a clean spoon to scoop out the amount of sauce you want. This keeps the remaining sauce fresh for longer.
How long does rémoulade sauce keep in the fridge?
If you make the sauce with store-bought mayonnaise in a jar, rémoulade keeps for at least 1 week in the fridge. I would discard it before 2 weeks.
If you made it with homemade mayonnaise where the eggs haven’t been pasteurized, then I would keep the rémoulade for 1 week.
Unfortunately, rémoulade will separate if frozen because the low temperatures breaks the emulsion.
You cannot freeze rémoulade. Keep leftover sauce in the fridge.
NOTE: Since you can’t freeze rémoulade, it also means any food you make with rémoulade sauce, such as salmon burgers, shouldn’t be frozen either.
What else can you use instead of rémoulade?
RELATED: Here are more ideas for substitutes for tartar sauce. These replacements work perfectly in place of rémoulade sauce too.
What is rémoulade sauce used for?
In France, rémoulade is used as a sauce for seafood, such as fish and shellfish. It’s also used as a spread on red meats, such as beef.
French celeriac rémoulade sauce is served with shredded celeriac root.
In Louisiana, rémoulade is served with crab cakes, fish sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, and as a fry sauce.
In Denmark and many other areas in Europe, rémoulade is spread on open-faced beef sandwiches, hot dogs, and fries.
RELATED: Check out these different ways to enjoy tartar sauce. These same foods go well with rémoulade sauce.
Last night, I enjoyed leftover rémoulade sauce that I made for this recipe post. We smeared rémoulade on top of salmon patties and used it as salad dressing.
TIP: To make the salad dressing, I thinned out about ⅓ cup of rémoulade with 1 tablespoon of water. This made enough salad dressing for about 2 bags of salad mix (about 14 oz / 400 g).
Enjoy rémoulade with these recipes