• New Year’s Eve Caviar & Salmon Tacos


By Andrew Zimmern

This is a fun recipe that I originally created for Rock Your Taco at the Austin Food & Wine Festival, and it won first place! The fried bao are a perfect vessel for gravlax, caviar and my bitter lemon creme fraiche puree. I’m using Oklahoma paddlefish caviar here, which is incredible and only a fraction of the cost of sturgeon caviar. It’s made by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and sales benefit various programs and conservation efforts in the state. Hope everyone has a wonderful new year!

New Year’s Eve Caviar & Salmon Tacos


Caviar Tacos

  • Frying oil
  • Store bought Chinese bao
  • Gravlax (get the recipe)
  • Paddlefish caviar
  • Bitter lemon-creme fraiche puree (recipe follows)
  • Minced chives, for garnish

Bitter lemon-creme fraiche puree

  • 300 grams whole lemons 
  • 100 grams simple syrup 
  • 100 grams lemon oil 
  • 300 grams Crème Fraiche 


Heat oil in a large pan or wok to 375 degrees F.

Fry the bao buns until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Stuff the fried buns with a slice of gravlax, paddlefish caviar and a dollop of bitter lemon and creme fraiche puree. Top with minced chives.

To make the bitter lemon-creme fraiche puree:

Fork the lemons. Blanch the lemons cold to hot 3 times, changing water each time. Quarter lemons and remove seeds.

Cryovac lemon quarters in a flat layer and microwave 3 times, 2 minutes each time. Total cooking time in the microwave – 6 minutes.

Transfer lemons to blender while still hot and puree with simple syrup and lemon oil. Pass through fine chinois and refrigerate. Fold crème fraiche into the lemon puree.

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