Salmon Rilletes Recipe

Salmon Rilletes

Salmon Rilletes Recipe

Rillettes, for those unfamiliar, is a dish in which the main ingredient is cooked and potted with fat. Originally, this was a means of preserving meat and salting often preceded the cooking process. Pork is the most common foodstuff thus preserved, indeed, the name derives from ‘rille’ which is an old French term for a slice of pork, but the method, or some variation thereof, has been adapted to all sorts of other things, including, as here, fish.

Ingredient Notes

The Recipe Card below calls for 1 to 1 ½ sticks of butter. In this case, I used one stick, which was just enough to barely cover the Salmon mix in the serving vessels I used. This is fine for serving immediately, or within a day or so, but, for longer storage, it is preferable to use a little more butter so that the flaked Salmon is well covered so as to keep it free of contact with the air.

The Method

Salmon Poaching for use in Rilletes
Salmon Poaching for use in Rilletes

Toast the whole spices in a dry pan, then add the Wine, the Salmon Fillets, and sufficient Water to Cover. Bring the pot to just below the boiling point, then cover and remove from the heat. The Salmon will be sufficiently cooked by the time the pot has cooled.

Preparing the Salmon Mix for Rilettes
Preparing the Salmon Mix for Rilettes

Melt the butter in a saucepan and have ready on hand. Drain the Salmon and flake it in a bowl. Add the Garlic Salt and the Parsley, and just enough Butter to make a nice, creamy consistency.

Salmon Rilletes ready for chilling
Salmon Rilletes ready for chilling

Transfer the Salmon mix to appropriate serving or storage dishes and pour the remaining butter over each to cover the Salmon. Refrigerate until using, then serve with slices of toast, or bread, and, if desired, some pickles on the side.

Your Recipe Card:

Salmon Rilletes

This Salmon Rilletes Recipe is super quick and easy to prepare, keeps very well, and makes for a terrific snack, or an elegant appetizer.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Servings: 4 as an Appetizer
Author: John Thompson


  • ½ lb. 225g Salmon Fillet
  • 1 – 1 ½ sticks Butter
  • ½ Cup White Wine
  • 1 tsp. each Black Mustard Seed Fennel Seed and Black Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Salt
  • 1 – 2 tsp. Parsley Flakes.
  • Water as needed.


  • Toast the whole spices in a pan until they release their aroma.
  • Add the White wine, the Salmon fillets and water to cover.
  • Bring the pan to a near boil, then cover and remove from the heat to cool.
  • Melt the Butter in a pan and set aside.
  • Flake the cooled Salmon in a bowl, add the Garlic Salt, Parsley and sufficient Butter to make a creamy blend.
  • Transfer the Salmon mix to serving dishes and cover with the remaining Butter.
  • Refrigerate until needed.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!