Tis the season of seafood and chilled appetizers, and what better way to swelter in the summer sunshine than with two big bowls of chips and salmon dip? With a simple base of chives, salmon, and creamy cheese, this dip can easily be spruced up to your heart’s content with additional herbs and squirts of lemon juice. Store in your fridge for a week of glorious culinary experimentation or increase your popularity (but risk having no leftovers) by bringing it to a potluck picnic. Never heard of quark? It’s a German soft cheese rarely found in the U.S. (a.k.a. one more reason to study abroad). Take a peek at the substitution notes below to adapt this recipe for your local grocer!


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes (better if chilled overnight)

Servings: one medium-sized bowl of dip, roughly 1.5 lbs.

16 ounces quark
8 ounces smoked salmon
7.5 ounces crème fraiche
½ teaspoon lemon juice
Herbs (to taste)

1. Scrape quark into a medium-sized bowl.


Photo by Eva Reynolds

2. Remove the fish skin and chop the salmon into tiny pieces.


Photo by Eva Reynolds

3. Fold into cheese.


Photo by Eva Reynolds


Photo by Eva Reynolds

4. Mix crème fraiche with herbs, chives, and lemon juice. Stir in to quark and salmon with additional chives, herbs, or lemon juice to taste.


Photo by Eva Reynolds

5. For best taste, refrigerate overnight in an airtight container. Serve with chips, use as a sandwich spread, wrap filling, or, even better, devour with a spoon. Leftovers should keep for a week (if you can make them last that long). If spoiled, the dip will taste sour, develop a foul, fishy odor – at which point it should be immediately discarded.


Photo by Eva Reynolds


  • Substitute 16 ounces of chive whipped cream cheese for the quark and crème fraiche. Quark is more acidic than cream cheese, though, so definitely add at least a teaspoon of lemon juice if making the substitution.

Photo by Eva Reynolds

More fish and dips: