Salmon in a Spicy Garlic Tomato Sauce

Go ahead and blow up the kiddie pool.

And maybe aim the sprinkler system at your eyeballs. Because when your tongue meets this sauce, your sinuses are going to give you the bird.

I don’t want to scare you, but daaaaaaad GUM, this meal will punch you in the face. And I’m no sissy when it comes to spicy food. I actually like crying and twitching.

And salmon? Lightly seared and then poached in this rock your party sauce? Just stop it. It’s like a slab of omega 3s put on some high heels, a mini skirt and played you The Girl From Ipanema on VINYL.

You just gotta make this.

If the ingredient list gives you hives, just lessen the heat here and there. But I really think you need to experience this in its full YOUHAVEGOTTOBEKIDDING-ness. Whoever over at Bon Appetit developed this recipe deserves a marriage proposal. And a new car.

Bon Appetit? More like Bon Appe-TIGHT.

I’m so, so sorry.

Salmon in a Spicy Garlic Tomato Sauce:

(recipe from Bon Appetit)

* THIS JUST IN: I learned this morning from my friend in Mississippi that sugar and bread are the best ways to cut the heat. Not water. So if things get too out of hand for you, just plunge your head into a sugary bread bowl and you’ll be totes fine. Who knew?!

What it took for 2:

* 1 Tbs caraway seeds
* 8 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 3 Tbs all-purpose flour
* 2 salmon fillets or steaks (if you can find them!)
* 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
* 1 serrano chili, roughly chopped (leave seeds in)
* 2 tsp smoked paprika
* 2 tsp ground cumin
* pinch of cayenne pepper
* pinch of ground cinnamon
* 2 Tbs tomato paste
* 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
* 2 tsp sugar
* fresh cilantro for garnish

In a small skillet, toast the caraway seeds until they’re slightly darker in color and aromatic in scent, about 2 minutes. Let them cool a smidge, then grind them in a spice mill or small food processor. Set aside. (p.s. I tried my using my mortar and pestle, and those seeds wouldn’t budge. Hmmm)

Toss the flour in a shallow dish. Season the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides, then lightly dredge them through the flour, shaking off any excess.

Heat 2 Tbs oil in a cast iron or regular skillet, and sear the salmon until nice and browned, 2 minutes per side. Set them on a plate and wipe the skillet clean.

In a food processor, toss in the garlic, serrano chile, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, paprika, caraway, and 2 Tbs oil. Blitz until the mixture becomes as paste-y as you can get it.

Back in the cast iron, heat up the last 4 Tbs oil over medium. Add the garlic paste and bloom for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and 1/2 cup water. Stir and mix and sniff. Add the sugar and lemon juice, stir stir. Toss in a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer 30 more seconds. Omg.

Now, add the salmon fillets to the skillet, lower the heat to a light simmer, cover and let it cook for about 6 more minutes. The salmon will finish cooking as it absorbs the sauce.

Toss in some cilantro and serve her up!


, , , , , ,

51 Responses to Salmon in a Spicy Garlic Tomato Sauce

  1. Cookin' Cowgirl December 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm #
    WOW! This sounds fantastic!! I love all the things you threw in the sauce!! MMMMMMMM
  2. Jenny Flake December 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm #
    Looks fantabulous!! I have so much salmon in my freezer, I will be running to make your recipe very soon! xoxo
  3. Lisa @ Life in Green December 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm #
    Looks great! I think it should be a weekly requirement to eat something super hot...its good for the body and soul. :)
  4. Cassie December 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm #
    My lordy, I want to bathe in that sauce. Salmon is my fave, making this ASAP.
  5. Stefanie December 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm #
    I am in love with this recipe. Your personification of a slab of Omega 3's putting on high hells and a mini skirt along with your reccomendation to put my head in a bread bowl of sugar are what really sold this recipe for me! Too funny!
  6. Julie @ Table for Two December 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm #
    this is phenomenal, Bev. I want to try this asap -- i love love salmon and heat -- well, i'm a wimp and can only take a little heat but i'll still power through it! also, rice is really good at cutting the heat :)
  7. brandi December 16, 2011 at 2:59 pm #
    the spicier the better. don't you LOVE that tomato paste in the tube? i start freaking out when it's getting low in my fridge. i love that stuff!
  8. kimberlyloc December 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm #
    wait, so when i plunge my head into a sugary bowl of goodness JUST BECAUSE, it's not ok? i'm kinda a hothead so i guess that counts... love this post bev. xo
  9. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm #
    that is the most perfect looking salmon! I havent had salmon in years (probably 5 or so since when I was pregnant) but you make me wanna change that, asap!
  10. nicole b. December 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm #
    Is it weird that I just started singing "O HOLY NIGHT, the salmon's lightly frying!" Uh, yeah, too much Christmas on the brain, sorry. I am trying this recipe very soon. I love salmon! And that spicy sauce looks like a real winner! Thanks, Bev! xoxo.
  11. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen December 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm #
    Love it! Salmon is soon to be prepared in my kitchen, my guys will go crazy for this!
  12. Lauren December 16, 2011 at 4:16 pm #
    MUST try this soon!!!
  13. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen December 16, 2011 at 4:26 pm #
    I start sweating and my nose starts running when I eat really spicy food and yet I continue to eat it. Love it :)
  14. Deanna B. December 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm #
    I love spicy food! I don't know how this recipe slipped past my notice. I'm a touch distraught about it. I use the sugar trick in the rare even food is to spicy. It usually happens at Thai restaurants and I sit there and knock back sugar packets.
  15. Julie J December 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm #
    thanks for this recipe, I'm always looking for recipes with salmon. And, youmakemelaughalltheflippintime! (you should seriously write a book) Julie
  16. Jennifer @ Mother Thyme December 16, 2011 at 6:18 pm #
    Beautiful! Nothing beats spicy salmon! Love the combination of ingredients.
  17. Lindsay @ Lindsay's List December 16, 2011 at 7:21 pm #
    I love how the tomato paste looks like toothpaste. What kind is that?
    • Bev Weidner December 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm #
      Isn't it great!? The brand is called "Amore" and it's double concentrated. I love that you don't waste any because you squeeze out whatever ya need!
  18. Michelle December 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm #
    I love your enthusiasm so freaking much! Pinned this! Thanks for the what it takes for two recipe!
  19. kale @ tastes good to me! December 16, 2011 at 10:31 pm #
    "plunge your head into a sugary bread bowl" - hahaha Nice, very nice. :)
  20. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen December 16, 2011 at 11:11 pm #
    I loooove spicy food. I must try this. I've never heard of the sugar/bread trick, but milk or ice cream definitely helps cut the heat!
  21. nicole {sweet peony} December 16, 2011 at 11:54 pm #
    i love spicy food. i've never had spicy salmon but i will change that soon. this looks freakin amazing! beautiful photos too :) have a fantastic weekend, bev! xo
  22. Kiran @ December 17, 2011 at 12:07 am #
    I have a salmon in the freezer and this looks like the perfect recipe!
  23. Winnie December 17, 2011 at 12:46 am #
    Wowza. I love salmon and this looks crazy delicious!
  24. honeywhatscooking December 17, 2011 at 3:35 am #
    i absolutely love salmon, this looks so delicious. never thought of making it this way. very good idea.
  25. Deena @ stay at home FOODIE December 17, 2011 at 5:19 am #
    Sounds amazing! I may have to lower the heat for my girls, but I'm going full chili for my and the husband. Thx for the recipe.
  26. DeskSnacker December 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm #
    Yummm! I've been learning a lot lately about the difference between wild Alaskan salmon versus other varieties. I'm wondering what you can share and other readers can share about the high value of mercury in it and how safe it is to eat. I'm actually confused by this because don't they say that eskimos have the best diet in the world from all the fish they eat?
  27. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum December 17, 2011 at 10:37 pm #
    Bev, will you make dinner for me? Thanks.
  28. Sasha December 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm #
    This looks delicious!
  29. pb December 18, 2011 at 6:25 pm #
    I actually had this for dinner tonight and it was _great_! Thanks a lot for the recipe.
  30. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe December 18, 2011 at 11:10 pm #
    Smokin' delicious. Bam!
  31. susan December 19, 2011 at 3:51 am #
    this looks like just what I need right about now. baking, candy making, and sugar overload - need me some protein!
  32. Deborah December 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm #
    I'm pretty sure you could make anything look absolutely delicious!!
  33. Jeanette December 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm #
    Love the sauce - gorgeous color and love all the spices! Beautiful pics too.
  34. Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie December 20, 2011 at 7:13 pm #
    Yum! Love how delicious and spicy it looks. Always looking for new ways to eat salmon and this has definitely inspired me to change things up a bit. Thanks for sharing!
  35. Kathleen Richardson December 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm #
    Girl, that sounds so-o good and I'll so-o stay away from it! Can't take the heat (or the garlic) anymore. I have to admit, though, that your photos, your writing and your ideas are hot, too!
  36. Tracy January 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm #
    Hi! Found you through FoodGawker. This spicy garlic tomato sauce was every bit as good as you touted. I was literally drooling as I read your post. =) I love LOVE spicy so instead of paprika (which I ran out of) I just used 2 tsp of cayenne pepper. It was even better the next day as leftovers, with the sauce fully soaking through the fish. This will DEFINITELY be on repeat in my kitchen. Thank you so much for sharing!
  37. Tracy January 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm #
    Oh, forgot to mention, I served this salmon over a bean puree. Took black-eyed peas (what I had in my pantry, cannellini would be great) and pureed with 1 clove of garlic, drizzle of olive oil, salt/pepper and juice of half of a lemon. The puree soaked up the delicious garlic tomato sauce from the fish perfectly!
    • Bev Weidner January 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm #
      Oh now THAT sounds like something that would send me over the edge. THE GOOD EDGE. Thanks for letting me know!
  38. E February 23, 2012 at 3:37 am #
    My mom didn't want to eat at first but after I made it she thought it was deeeelicious!! She wants me to make it again next month. Thanks!
  39. Jillian April 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm #
    Made this last night, it was delicious!
  40. Anonymous May 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm #
    Have bookmarked this for ages, and with salmon coming into season, just got a kilo at half price this morning (we are broke students). Made this for lunch today, first time cooking with caraway seeds so wasn't sure if 1 tbsp seemed like a lot, it wasn't. I had this with rice stirred through with spinach and cilantro. My bf said it was delicious, I agree. I added a whole birds eye chili as didn't have serrano, and reduced oil to 6tbsp, might reduce to 4 next time even.
  41. katie September 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm #
    Hi there. I just made this and it was exactly as awesome as you said! I didn't have caraway seeds and didn't garnish with cilantro, though I bet both these ingredients would have made it unbelievably more amazing then it was. I loved your pics and funny text to go along. An easy recipe that made me feel accomplished. Seriously. This was so super great. Thank you for sharing and being so creative and funny about it.
  42. Nick July 18, 2013 at 6:56 am #
    I just tried this recipe and it was probably the best salmon I've ever had. I replace the chili pepper with chili powder to cool it down a bit and served over rice. Everyone loved it. Thanks for the recipe!
  43. Sharon January 20, 2014 at 3:03 pm #
    Hahaha!!! This is hilarious! I loved reading all your silly little anecdotes, made this recipe even more appealing than before!!! I came across it whilst looking up a recipe for salmon paired with pasta and a red sauce. F$&? THAT! Boring! This recipe has made me crave this dinner tonight!!!! Ha! So glad I came across this one. I love me some garlic and salmon, and combined with the super spiciness, this, I cannot wait to make!!!!! Thanks so much for the wicked recipe! :)
  44. Anonymous September 16, 2014 at 5:50 pm #
    Dairy really cuts spicy food... that's why cuisines with a lot of spicy food typically have a common creamy dairy based condiment. Indian: raita, Latin: cheese/sour cream/crema, Thai: coconut milk, etc.


  1. Salmon in a Spicy Garlic Tomato Sauce | Bev Cooks | tomatoes | - December 20, 2011 [...] jQuery("#errors*").hide(); window.location= data.themeInternalUrl; } }); } - Today, 7:48 [...]
  2. salmon in spicy garlic tomato sauce « - March 24, 2012 [...] day some healthy dinners.  Salmon was one of the requests, so I searched on Pinterest and found this yummy recipe.  This salmon was delicious with a sweet garlic tomato sauce that had a spicy kick at the end.  I [...]
  3. Salmon in a Garlicky Tomato Sauce « Blonde Sauce - June 14, 2012 [...] Adapted from Bev Cooks [...]
  4. Friday Five - Salmon addition - Feed Your Soul Too - December 5, 2014 […] This next recipe presented by Bev Cooks is a Salmon in a Spicy Garlic Tomato Sauce. […]
  5. Blood Orange Miso Glazed Broiled Salmon - February 11, 2015 […] Salmon in Spicy Garlic Tomato Sauce from Bev Cooks […]

Leave a Reply