This smoked paprika salmon with rosemary grapes is a sweet and savory seafood meal made with pan-seared fish and a quick grape pan-sauce.
We’ve been eating so much fish lately. Even more than usual (and mostly salmon!).
It’s been kind of fantastic.
Recently, I’ve been revisiting some of my favorite seafood recipes on Champagne Tastes. A few of them, like this one, deserved a little make-over with fresh new photos.
This smoked paprika salmon with rosemary grapes is one of my favorite fish recipes. The smoky flavor from the paprika works perfectly with the salmon and sweet grapes.
Fruit and Salmon? Really?
Surprisingly (to me), not everyone loves the idea of pairing fruit with fish.
What Kind of Salmon Should I Use?
Any type of salmon will work with this recipe.
We’ve been getting wild Alaska salmon from Sitka Salmon Shares, and love this meal with Sockeye, King, and Coho salmon. It’s also delicious with less fatty, more affordable salmon fillets like Keta and Pink salmon.
You can also use Atlantic salmon: just be aware that all commercially sold Atlantic salmon is farmed, not wild.
Can I Use Regular Paprika Instead?
Your fish won’t have the same smoky flavor, but it will still be delicious.
Is Pan-Searing Salmon Difficult?
No, but there is a (small) learning curve.
If you’ve never pan-seared salmon before, make sure to read the whole recipe in full before cooking. You’ll find lots of pan-searing tips!
Still nervous? Don’t be.
Pan-Sear the Smoked Paprika Salmon
Start by patting the fish dry, seasoning it, and setting it aside for about 15 minutes. Cold fish will be harder to sear.
Next, add a little butter and oil to a heavy pan. I like this Lodge 12″ carbon steel skillet.
When the butter melts, set the salmon into the pan skin-side down.
Watch the salmon as it cooks. The salmon will turn opaque from the bottom up.
If the fish doesn’t release, wait about 30 seconds and try again. Don’t rush the fish, it will release when it’s ready.
Flip the fish (when it releases) and continue cooking until the sides are completely opaque.
Take the fish out of the pan and add the grapes and rosemary.
While the grapes cook, smash them down and burst them a little to release the juices.
Serve the salmon with the grapes, and dig in while it’s all still hot!
Smoked Paprika Salmon with Rosemary Grapes
- 8 ounces salmon (2 fillets)
- pinch salt, pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon butter plant-based or dairy
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup red grapes, washed and stems removed Optionally, halve the grapes before using. (I halve large globe grapes.)
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary
- Pat salmon dry. Rub fish with paprika, and sprinkle fillets on both sides with salt and pepper.Allow fillets to rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes. (Cold salmon is more difficult to sear.)
- Add butter and oil to a heavy pan and melt butter over medium heat.Place the fillets skin-side down in the pan and cook 2-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. (If your salmon fillets don't have skin, it doesn't matter which side you cook first.)As the salmon cooks, the flesh will begin to turn opaque from the bottom up. When the fish has cooked halfway through, it's ready to flip.Avoid touching the fish until the fish is ready to flip.
- Use a thin metal spatula to test the fish. If you can slide the spatula under the fish without the fish sticking to the pan, it's ready to flip. If the fillets won't release, give them another 30 seconds. They'll release when they've finished cooking.Cook fish another 2-4 minutes until done. Timing will depend on the thickness of the fillet. (Watch the sides of the fillets to see when the fish is done cooking. It's finished as soon as there are no more translucent patches and it's fully opaque.)
- Transfer the fish to plates, leaving the excess butter in the pan. Cover fish to keep warm, or set fish in a 200ºF oven.Add grapes and rosemary to the pan and allow them to sear for about 2-3 minutes, or until grapes begin to blister. While grapes sear, smash them with the back of a spoon to release juices. Scoop the grapes out of the pan, along with all the liquid. Discard the rosemary.Serve salmon immediately with rosemary grape sauce.