Primal Salmon Spread with Nori Chips

rillette 2This salmon spread, made from both poached and smoked salmon mashed with butter, is a version of French rillettes. Rillettes, which are similar to pâté, are made from blending together protein and fat. Could there be a better snack?

Rillettes are often made with pork, duck or rabbit meat and lard, but using salmon and butter is easier and a genius way to make creamy salmon spread without adding mayonnaise, cream cheese or sour cream. The blend of salmon and butter (with just a drizzle of olive oil) is flavored with chives, capers and lemon.

There’s really no reason not to treat this “spread” like a salad and eat it with a fork, but if you want finger food then serve salmon rillettes on crispy nori chips.

This salmon rillettes recipe is adapted from the book “Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin.”

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes


  • 8 ounces raw boneless, skinless salmon (230 g)
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into tiny pieces (113 g)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (60 g)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (30 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar (10 ml)
  • 4 sheets toasted nori


Season raw salmon with salt. Bring 1 cup water to boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Add salmon and put a lid on the pan. Poach until opaque in center, 5 to 8 minutes, depending on how thick the fillet is. Remove salmon and let cool.

In a medium bowl, mash the butter and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil together with a fork until the mixture is very smooth and spreadable. Mix in the chives and capers.

Flake the cooked salmon into the bowl. Add the smoked salmon and lemon juice. Mash together with a fork.

To make nori chips, preheat oven to 300 °F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

In a small bowl mix together the remaining tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil with the rice vinegar.

Brush one side of each nori sheet with the olive oil and rice vinegar. Cut or tear the nori sheets in half, then cut or tear each half into 4 triangles. Bake the triangles for 4 minutes, then turn the pan in the oven. Bake 4 to 6 minutes more, until the edges of the nori have curled up. Remove and cool.

Spoon a dollop of salmon spread in the middle of a nori chip and enjoy!

Note: The nori chips will get soggy if the salmon spread sits on them for too long, so it’s best to spoon the salmon on right before eating.

rillette 1

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16 thoughts on “Primal Salmon Spread with Nori Chips”

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  1. This sounds good. I bet you can eliminate some of the cooking by using canned salmon (of which I have a backlog).

    1. What to do about the bones, though? Would throwing the can through a food processor blend them into obscurity? I wonder how that would effect the structure of the whole shebang though.

      1. Once you removed the spine, you can break up the bones with a fork when mashing and/or combining with other ingredients. When I make salmon salad, I leave those bones in and do not notice them. I suspect it would be similar with this recipe.

      2. the bones are a negligable percentage of canned salmon. I dont think you need worry

  2. Next time I invite my parents over, I’ll make this as an appetizer. Maybe cut down a little though. 🙂

  3. This is the perfect snack for watching football and perhaps to bust into that stack of canned salmon in the pantry. I might up the ratio of canned to smoked to 50/50 to compensate for substituting the canned for poached. Celery sticks would also make an alternative delivery vehicle for guests that may have not aquired a taste for sea vegetables.

  4. Sounds really good. I wonder about adding a bit of sesame oil to this. I’ll give it a try.

  5. Wow! This looks delicious. Any suggestions on what I can add to make it a little spicier? Thanks for the recipe!

  6. I am salivating! This looks divine. I’m thinking you could even make a ‘rice ball’ by putting a tsp of the salmon mix onto a 2-inch piece of nori and then just shape it like you would a rice ball (I moisten my hands and rub the nori around the filling).

  7. This is the best salmon spread ever! I switch it up by adding sriracha, or kimchi or fresh parsley and dill and it’s good on anything: daikon radish slices, endives, cukes, nori, or just plain on its own! I pulse it all together with a wand mixer and it’s a breeze to blend. Thank you, thank you, thank you!