Vegan Tartar Sauce

18th April 2015

We’ve been having a tremendous time in Cape Town, venturing out to see penguins and seals in their natural habitat, visiting local farmers’ markets, sampling the ample and varied produce and taking it all in at the local (slow) pace. Sunny days and vegan options abound, it’s been an amazing trip. I can’t wait to share more about Cape Town soon, including information on a few vegan wines from the famous Western Cape Winelands.

Vegan Tartar Sauce

Having recently shared a recipe for Vegan Gochujang Mayo, I was inspired to create a bright, tangy tartar sauce from scratch using my homemade mayo as the base. I love the salty, briny flavors of capers combined with the herbal chive and parsley components, all complemented by the tart lemon juice. The rounded flavor and subtle bite of tartar sauce is always best when freshly made, but leaving it to chill in the fridge for a while will help the flavors come together as one so I recommend preparing this a few hours before serving.

Vegan Tartar Sauce

A few notes: I recommend using kosher or dill relish and not a sweet relish. Shallots are optional but I like the added oniony bite. Herbs can be adapted based on availability and preference. If you want an alternative to chives and parsley, I would recommend tarragon and dill.

I recommend using Westsoy Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk as one of the primary ingredients for the vegan tartar sauce. It has just two ingredients – filtered water and organic whole soybeans. The flavor is mild and free from any artificial or off tastes that I often find in these over-processed soy milks today.

This Vegan Tartar Sauce paired perfectly with my vegan ‘fish’ n’ chips (golden fishless filet from Gardein and homemade french fries).

Vegan Tartar Sauce

Vegan Tartar Sauce

Yield: 6 servings


Vegan Mayo Base

  • ½ cup soya milk, unsweetened (preferably West Soy)*
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon coarse-grain mustard or mild version of dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup sunflower or neutral oil


  • 2 teaspoons pickled relish (kosher, not the sweet ones)
  • 1 teaspoon drained capers, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives*
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley*
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced shallots (optional)
  • Salt to taste


Place all of the ‘vegan mayo base’ ingredients except for the oil in a high-speed blender and blend on high until ingredients are fully incorporated. Pause to scrape the sides of the blender and combine any ingredients that did not blend. Then switch to low speed and slowly add the oil until preferred mayo consistency is achieved.

If the mixture isn’t fully combined, turn the blender off and scrape the sides to incorporate all of the ingredients before blending again. If you need to stop and stir the mixture, do not leave it standing too long or your mayo may begin to separate or break.

Transfer your mayo to a glass container and stir in the tartar ingredients until fully incorporated. Season to taste – add additional fresh lemon juice, salt or pepper to taste. Refrigerate for an hour, allowing the flavors to meld and the mixture to thicken.


Keeping: Store the mayo base in the fridge for up to 1 week and add tartar ingredients when ready to use. Make sure you stir prior to using. For the best consistency and flavor, eat them within 2-3 days.

High-speed Blender alternative: If you do not have a powerful or high-speed blender, keep blending longer. It will take time but you should still be able to achieve the creamy mayo consistency.

Soya Milk: I haven’t tried the mayo recipe with nut-based milks yet, but I personally like soya milk. I especially like Westsoy Organic Unsweetened Soymilk because it has only two ingredients (filtered water and whole organic soybeans), giving it a clean, simple flavor.

If you want an alternative to chives and parsley, I would recommend tarragon and dill.

Vegan Tartar Sauce

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