Smoked white fish dip

Smoked white fish dip

Elisa Watson

This American deli icon can easily be re-created at home. Smoking the fish is so simple – once you’ve made this, you’ll never go back to the store-bought variety.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons salt, plus extra for seasoning
500g spanish mackerel, or other oily fish
1 tarragon sprig, leaves picked and chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf (itailan) parsley
1 tableespoon finely chopped chives
1/2 celery stalk, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon horseradish
90g Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon capers in brine, drained and chopped
pinch of sweet paprika
3 shakes tabasco or other hot sauce, plus extra to taste
juice of 1 lemon, plus extra to taste
sea salt, to taste
Milla's spelt and seed crackers, to serve
180g gourmet wood chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Rub the salt all over the fish on both sides and put the fish in the fridge to brine. After 30 minutes, wash off the salt and pat the fish dry with paper towel.
  3. Spread the wood chips over the bottom of a roasting tray, place a wire rack on top and rest the fish on the wire rack.
  4. Place the tray over the stovetop flame until it smokes, then quickly cover the tray with foil, trapping the smoke inside. Remove from the heat and transfer the tray to the preheated oven.
  5. After 20 minutes, check to see if the fish is cooked all the way through (it should be firm and white in colour). Return it to the oven for a further 5 minutes if required, then remove and set aside to cool.
  6. To make the dip, flake the cooled fish into a mixing bowl and gently mix in the remaining ingredients.
  7. Adjust the seasoning, adding Tabasco, lemon juice and salt accordingly.
  8. Serve in a bowl with Milla’s spelt and seed crackers on the side.


  • You can source the gourmet wood chips at specialty food stores or delicatessens.
Jewish cooking
Chicken soup
Yom kippur
Dinner party
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