The Washington Post

Fages Salmon Mousse

Fages Salmon Mousse 8.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Apr 29, 2016

Boiling water is about the only cooking that this pale-coral-colored retro spread requires.

For this rendition, we like to use salmon packed in tuna-size cans, because it doesn't contain the cartilage and bones that come in big cans. You'll need a mold with a volume of 4 to 6 cups, preferably shaped like a fish.

Serve with crackers or lightly dressed salad greens -- or, if you're in a retro mood, with tomato aspic.

Make Ahead: The mousse needs to be covered and refrigerated in its mold for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight, or up to 1 day in advance.

8 - 12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-12 servings

  • 15 ounces drained canned pink salmon (from 3 small cans; see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus a small frond for optional garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4 1/2 to 5 teaspoons (2 packets) Knox unflavored gelatin
  • 1 shallot (about 1 1/2 ounces), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1 slice pimento-stuffed olive, for garnish
  • 1 mini cucumber, thinly sliced (preferably on a mandoline), for garnish (optional)
  • 1 celery rib, cut crosswise into thin half-moons, for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup grape tomatoes, cut into thin slices, for garnish (optional)


Place the salmon in a mixing bowl, breaking it up into small chunks; add the celery seed, paprika, dill (to taste) and lemon juice; toss to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Stir the boiling water and gelatin together in a small bowl until the gelatin powder has dissolved.

Remove the center knob from the lid of a blender. You may need to work in two batches, depending on the size of your blender jar. Combine the seasoned salmon and the gelatin mixture in the blender jar and place a towel over the opening. Pulse several times, stopping to move things around with a spatula as needed. Then add the shallot and the mayonnaise. Puree on medium-high speed until fairly smooth.

On high speed, gradually stream in the heavy cream through the hole in the lid. Puree for a few minutes, until the mixture is smooth and thick.

Generously grease the inside of the mold with cooking oil spray. Place the olive slice in the mold's eye indentation (or where the eye of the fish might be situated).

Carefully scrape the salmon mousse mixture into the mold, leveling the surface and giving the mold a good rap on the counter to make sure the mousse is fully settled. (If you have any extra mousse, grease a small ramekin and fill it with the leftovers.) Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight, so it firms up.

When ready to serve, fill a shallow baking dish with warm (not hot) water. Uncover the mold and dip the underside into the water for 15 seconds or so; use a round-edged knife to loosen the mousse around the edges. Invert a platter over the mold, then hold platter and mold together as you invert again so the mold sits on the platter.

Depending on the mold you've used, use the cucumber, celery, tomato and dill frond, if desired, to embellish the fish design. Serve chilled.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by the late Sally Fages Malt of Toronto, Canada.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 12, using low-fat mayonnaise): 150

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 13g 20%

Saturated Fat: 5g 25%

Cholesterol: 40mg 13%

Sodium: 110mg 5%

Total Carbohydrates: 2g 1%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 8g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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