Creole Remoulade - This tangy condiment is so easy to make and versatile. It's a make ahead staple in our refrigerator for everything from seafood to French fries!
I learned how to make this and perfected this creole answer to tartar sauce during the time I spent in the kitchens of New Orleans.
We love the creaminess and piquant flavor of this sauce when fried green tomatoes are dipped in it.
What is Remoulade?
Remoulade exists in two very different, but somewhat linked, versions. In France, remoulade is a lightly pickled relish made from whole grain mustard and shredded celery root. The creole version we are going to make here is a creamy and tangy sauce. The commonality between the two really only lies in that they both contain celery and coarse grain mustard.
That mustard is essential to this condiment. You can use almost any kind of course grain or even whole grain mustard, but in Louisiana, only "creole" mustard will do. There are several types, but Zatarains makes the benchmark creole mustard, you can get it here.
In Louisiana, where creole remoulade is the most popular, you'll see it utilized in two main ways. Shrimp remoulade is the creole answer to shrimp cocktail, wherein poached jumbo shrimp are seasoned with the sauce. It's also somewhat common to find remoulade slathered on French bread for assembly as a po-boy sandwich.
- Mayonnaise - Use your favorite here, but make sure that it is creamy, and flavorful. The Duke's brand we use is the only light variety that we feel makes this cut.
- Worcestershire Sauce - Lea & Perrins invented the stuff, so this is all that we use. Make sure to shake the bottle before pouring.
- Whole Grain Mustard - We use a whole grain Dijon mustard here, but many would insist that "creole" mustard is vital. This is a coarse grain mustard, very similar to "spicy brown".
- Lemon - Freshly squeezed lemon is a big part of what gives this sauce it's zesty and tangy character. We like the lemon oil kick that the zest provides also.
- Celery - The crunch and light bitterness that this vegetable provides is part of what makes this sauce unique.
- Pickles - French cornichons are the ideal candidate here. They have a high level of vinegar bite, and are not sweet at all.
- Parsley - This provides a nice, even level of vegetal brightness.
- Horseradish (not shown) - The combination of the biting and brief heat of grated horseradish with the creamy texture of this sauce makes a nice contrast.
See recipe card for quantities.
Step One - Knife Work
Slice the celery into super small bits. The French culinary term for this is "brunoise".
Cut the pickles into "brunoise" also, and mince the parsley.
Step Two - Mixing
Mix all of the ingredients together fully.
Serve it up in any variety of ways. Here it is with fried green tomatoes.
Make sure to cut the pickles and celery very small. You'll want to crunch into them with every bite, and if they are too large, that won't be possible. If the knife work is too precise or intimidating for you, a food processer will work, just use the pulse button, so as not to puree them.
There are a few different ways to make this versatile condiment, and they are all equally delish!
- Spicy - Add some cayenne to this recipe to make it spicier. You can also use a spicier hot sauce.
- Red - It is quite common to make a red version of this sauce by adding a little tomato paste, or even ketchup!
- Sweet - Many prefer to balance out the tangy kick of this condiment with a little sugar, or by using sweet pickles.
The ability for this sauce to keep in the refrigerator long term makes this a make-ahead staple. It will keep when tightly sealed for up to 3 weeks.
Creole Remoulade is one of those sauces that really is best made ahead of time. Like many recipes, the flavors meld and become one better after a day or two in the fridge!
Isn't remoulade just a fancy version of tartar sauce? - While these two sauces have a lot in common, this really is only coincidence. Tartar is based on the dressing for the classic raw beef dish, steak tartare, while the origins of remoulade is in a celery root relish, (see "what is remoulade", above).
What else can I use remoulade for, besides seafood and po-boys? - Great question! We like to use it as a dipping sauce for really any fried foods, snacks, (potato chips, French fries, onion rings, chicken fingers, etc.), or raw vegetables. It makes a nice base for mayonnaise based creamy salads, like tuna, potato, or egg salad. I'm confident that those uses only basically scratch the surface!
- 1 knife
- 1 Cutting Board
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 Spoon To stir up the ingredients, can use a spatula or whip instead.
- 1 Measuring Spoon Set
- 1 liquid measuring cup 1 cup size
- 1 Garlic press optional, the garlic can also be minced with a knife.
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. Horseradish prepared
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 clove Garlic large
- 1 tbsp. Mustard whole grain
- 1⅓ tbsp. Cornichon brunoise cut
- 2 tbsp. Celery brunoise cut
- 1 tbsp. Parsley minced
- 2 tbsp. Lemon juice freshly squeezed prefered
- ¼ tsp. Lemon zest optional
- ¼ tsp. Louisiana style hot sauce we prefer Crystal brand
- ½ tsp. Paprika preferably smoked
- Combine all ingredients well.