Salmon With Spicy Tomato Topping

Salmon with spicy tomato topping

The curse strikes again. I went to Whole Foods with a plan to buy salmon steaks so I could make Bon Appetit's salmon in spicy tomato sauce. Of course, there were no salmon steaks to be found. It seems that no matter what fish I plan to buy, Whole Foods never has what I have in mind (this has happened to me at three different locations). If I want tilapia, they'll have everything but. Same with halibut or sole or haddock or whatever I might possibly be planning to buy. Luckily, they still had some salmon fillets though. I bought a sockeye salmon fillet instead of two salmon steaks and adapted the recipe to work with the fillet.

I wouldn't really call the results salmon with tomato sauce as the only tomato component is tomato paste and there's not much sauce to speak of. What you really get is a very concentrated, sweet and spicy tomato topping. It goes wonderfully with the salmon, and paired with some broccoli, this made a light, wholesome dinner.

Salmon with spicy tomato topping

Salmon With Spicy Tomato Topping (adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2012)
Serves 2


1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 pound salmon fillet
Kosher salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves
1/2 serrano chile, chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar


Toast caraway seeds in small skillet over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally to move them around, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer seeds to cutting board and let cool. Crush or chop (or grind in a spice grinder).

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow wide bowl. Season salmon with salt and pepper and coat in flour. Shake off excess. Cook salmon until golden, about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer to a plate, wipe out skillet, and set aside.

Puree garlic, chile, paprika, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon oil in food processor, adding more oil by teaspoonfuls if needed.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in reserved skillet over medium heat. Add garlic mixture. Cook, stirring for 30 seconds, carefully add tomato paste and 1/4 cup water, and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for 30 seconds, and then stir in lemon juice and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

Return salmon to skillet, and bring to a gentle simmer.

Cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer just until salmon is cooked through 6 to 10 minutes, flipping salmon halfway through. Then cut salmon in half.

Salmon with spicy tomato topping

Transfer each half to a plate, and top with tomato mixture. Serve.

Salmon with spicy tomato topping

Have you had any great fish dishes lately?