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Pacific Coast Salmon Rolls with Bacon & Fennel Tartar Sauce

Pacific Coast Salmon Rolls with Bacon & Fennel Tartar Sauce

Recipes, Slow Eats, FAST


When I ran a little giveaway a couple of weeks back, I asked everyone, in exchange for a chance to win a copy of “Poptails – 60 Boozy Treats Served on a Stick,” to tell me what they love most about Island Vittles.

I didn’t have any great plans when I asked that question, but the responses have got me thinking ALOT about what I miss most about Island Vittles.  After all, IV has been my greatest labour of love for almost 3 years, but one that I’ve had to put on the side burner, as I worked on my food from fiction blog, Outlander Kitchen.

After months of manic activity while following a new and exciting project, the tides of life have brought me back to a place of quiet contemplation for a short time.  I now have a little space to breathe, re-evaluate and brainstorm what’s next.

Many of the comments were from those who enjoy my writing, stories and somewhat odd sense of humour.  As for the food, it seems most of you come here for different ideas, quick bites and the odd boozy treat.  Add all of those things up, and you’ve pretty much got a snapshot of my life —  I revel in the unique, I eat way too fast and wine:thirty almost always begins at 5 sharp.

Jokes aside, returning to Island Vittles during this break truly feels like returning to my roots.  A lot of things have happened over the past few months, and the last several weeks in particular has been a strange trip through uncharted waters.  Personal growth can be amazing.  It can also be incredibly uncomfortable.

Let’s just say I’m happy to be home.


These salmon rolls are quick and easy to prepare, and travel well. (Take the tartar sauce in a separate container and serve on the rolls when you’re ready to eat.)  They’re also a relatively frugal way to enjoy in-season wild Sockeye, which can be pricey.  I used a moderately large fillet (approx $8) to make 2 big dinner-sized rolls.

If you want to skip the roll and all of it’s associated carbs, make a Big Salad worthy of George Costanza and serve the salmon chunks and tartar sauce on top — served with your favourite beverage, you’ve got a picnic for kings.

The onion rings are oven baked, from Simply Scratch.

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

: Pacific Coast Salmon Rolls with Bacon & Fennel Tartar Sauce

: A west coast version of the classic east coast lobster roll.

  • Bacon – 3 rashers
  • Fennel, cored and trimmed – ½ Bulb
  • Sockeye Salmon Fillet, no bones or skin – 250 g
  • Olive Oil – 2 tsp
  • Mayonnaise – ½ Cup
  • Cilantro, chopped – ¼ Cup
  • Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
  • s+p
  • Buns, lettuce, red onion
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Cut the bacon into ¼ strips and dice the fennel. Toss the bacon and fennel together in a small pan, and cook, stirring 3-4 times for 30 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fennel tender, but not brown.
  3. Drain the bacon and fennel mixture on paper toweling. When completely cool, stir the mixture into the mayonnaise along with the cilantro and lemon juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Cut the salmon into 1 to 2” cubes, toss with the olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. In the bottom of a double boiler with a steamer insert, bring about 1” of water to the boil. Place the salmon in the steamer, ensuring no pieces overlap. Cover, reduce the heat to med. and steam for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the salmon is firm to the touch and just before beads of white fat appear on its surface (see note). Remove to a plate and cool completely.
  6. Serve on soft rolls with lettuce, red onion and plenty of tartar sauce.


  • The more you cook with salmon, the better you’ll anticipate the appearance of the white beads. Perfectly medium-rare salmon is removed from the heat just before these little drops of fat appear.
  • Keep the leftover tartar sauce, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

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