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Remoulade or rémoulade is a condiment invented in France that is usually aioli- or mayonnaise-based. Although similar to tartar sauce, it is often more yellowish (or reddish in Louisiana), often flavored with curry, and sometimes contains chopped pickles or piccalilli. It can also contain horseradish, paprika, anchovies, capers and a host of other items. While its original purpose was possibly for serving with meats, it is now more often used as an accompaniment to seafood dishes, especially pan-fried breaded fish fillets (primarily sole and plaice) and seafood cakes (such as crab or salmon cakes).
Remoulade is used in France, Denmark, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Norway and in the United States, especially in Louisiana Creole cuisine. It is used with french fries, on top of roast beef items, and as a hot dog condiment, although there are a multitude of other applications:
- France: rémoulade is made from mayonnaise to which is added mustard, shallots, capers, chopped pickles, and/or fresh herbs (chives, tarragon, chervil, burnet). It is commonly used in céleri rémoulade, which consists of thinly cut pieces of celeriac with a mustard-flavored remoulade and also to accompany red meats, fish and shellfish.
- Belgium: One of the condiments for frites, often sold at takeaway stands.
- Netherlands: Often served with fried fish.
- Germany: Mainly used with fried fish, and as an ingredient of potato salads. When marketed as "Danish remoulade", it is used for the "Danish hot dog", fish with boiled potatoes, dill and creamed spinach.
- Sweden: Remouladsås - the French version - is a common accessory to fried or breaded fish dishes, and used as topping on roast beef. The Danish version is also available, and is used on a variety of dishes referred to as 'Danish-style', for example Danish hot-dogs, Danish smørrebrød and suchlike.
- Denmark: An essential ingredient on open-face roast beef sandwiches (smørrebrød), along with Fried onion. Remoulade is also used for fish meatballs or breaded fillets of fish (e.g. cod or plaice) along with lemon slices. For french fries, the Danes can usually order tomato ketchup, remoulade or both, although in recent years mayonnaise has gained ground. In most regions it is used on hot dogs along with hot or sweet mustard, ketchup, fried or raw onions and pickled cucumber slices.
- Norway: Primarily served with deep fried fish.
- Iceland: remúlaði is a condiment commonly served on hot dogs, together with mustard, ketchup, and raw and fried onions.
- USA: Typically served as a condiment with seafoods and certain vegetables. Fried soft-shell crab sandwiches may be served with remoulade as the only sauce.
- Louisiana Creole cuisine: Remoulade often contains paprika and tends to be have a tannish or pink tint due the use of Creole brown mustard like Zatarain's, small amounts of ketchup, cayenne pepper, and paprika.
According to Larousse Gastronomique, rémoulade is 250 ml (1 cup) of mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons mixed herbs (parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon), 1 tablespoon drained capers, 2 finely diced cornichons and a few drops of anchovy essence (optional). Some recipes use chopped anchovy fillets. The rémoulade used in céleri rémoulade is a simple mustard-flavoured mayonnaise spiced with garlic and pepper. Rémoulade is classified in French cooking as a derivative of the mayonnaise sauce.
Danish remoulade has a mild, sweet-sour taste and a medium yellow color. The typical industrially-made variety does not contain capers, but finely-chopped cabbage and pickled cucumber, fair amounts of sugar and hints of mustard, cayenne pepper, coriander and onion, and turmeric for color. The herbs are replaced by herbal essences, e.g. tarragon vinegar. Starch, gelatin or milk protein may be added as thickeners.
Louisiana remoulade can vary from the elegant French-African Creole, the rustic Afro-Caribbean Creole, or the Classic Cajun version, and like the local variants of roux, each version is different from the French original. Creole versions often have tan or pink hues and are usually piquant. Louisiana-style remoulades fall generally into one of two categories—those with a mayonnaise base and those with an oil base, but sometimes both mayonnaise and oil are used. Each version may have finely chopped vegetables, usually green onions and celery, and parsley; most are made with either Creole or stone-ground mustard. Salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper are also standard ingredients. In the oil- and mayonnaise-based versions, the reddish hue often comes from the addition of a small amount of ketchup. The sauce is often topped with paprika for the aesthetics as well as the flavor. Generally, acidity is added with the inclusion of lemon juice or vinegar. Other additions include hardboiled egg or raw egg yolks, minced garlic, hot sauce, vinegar, horseradish, capers, cornichons, and Worcestershire sauce.
While the classic white remoulade is a condiment that can be offered in a variety of contexts (e.g. the classic celery root remoulade), Creole remoulade is used on shrimp, crabs, fried calamari, artichokes, and fried green tomatoes among other foods. Today, shrimp remoulade is a very common cold appetizer in New Orleans Creole restaurants, although, historically, hard boiled eggs with remoulade was a less expensive option on some menus. Shrimp remoulade is most often served as a stand-alone appetizer (usually on a chiffonade of iceberg lettuce). One might also see crawfish remoulade, but remoulade sauce is very seldom offered in restaurants as an accompaniment with fish; cocktail sauce and tartar sauce are generally the condiments of choice. Food columnist and cookbook author Leon Soniat suggests to "Serve [remoulade] over seafood or with sliced asparagus."
Central Mississippi has Comeback sauce, a condiment that is very similar to Louisiana remoulade.
- Prosper Montagné (1961). Charlotte Snyder Turgeon & Nina Froud, eds. Larousse gastronomique: the encyclopedia of food, wine & cookery. Crown Publishers. p. 861. ISBN 0-517-50333-6. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- Soniat, Leon E (1983). La Bouche Creole, p.61. Pelican Publishing.
- Tulane University Newcomb College Center for Research on Women Deep South Culinary Oral History Project
- lib.k-state.edu, This page contains images of what may be the first recipe of remoulade in print from the 1817 edition of Le Cuisinier Royal.]