Grilled Sockeye with Smokey Tomato Jam

Warm and smokey

Grilled Sockeye with Smokey Tomato Jam

Serves: 2 | Difficulty:

After olive oil, lemons, and fancy salt, one of my top ingredients is good Spanish pimentón. While I’ve gotten it in unofficial plastic baggies in La Boqueria in Barcelona, I now source it from work and splurge on the $5 tin that lasts me, an avid user, about a year. Get it at Sur la Table, and you’ll forever be happy adding a pinch of warm smokiness to even your simplest dishes. Between the BEST salmon ever, good pimentón and summer tomatoes, I’m not sure how you couldn’t enjoy this dish. ~Chef Ali


2 8-ounce sockeye fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8-10 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon sweet or spicy pimentón, or a mix of both
⅛ teaspoon cumin
water, as needed
salt and pepper, to taste

For the jam

In an 8-inch skillet heated over medium high-heat, add one tablespoon olive oil. Add halved tomatoes to the pan, and cook undisturbed for 5-7 minutes. Tomatoes will wilt and release their juices. Add sugar or honey, stirring to dissolve, then stir in vinegar and spices. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until thickened to a jam-like consistency, adding water as needed.

(We like this jam more runny to spoon over grilled or sautéd salmon, and thicker when using leftovers for sandwiches.)

For the sockeye

Rub sockeye with remaining tablespoon of olive oil until it is well coated and shiny. Season with salt and pepper. On a clean grill, thoroughly preheated over high heat, sear fillets flesh-side down first without moving. In 3-4 minutes, the sockeye will be well marked from the grill and will readily flip when gently prodded. Turn to grill skin-side down for an additional 3-4 minutes. If fish is not yet flaking, move to a cooler spot on the grill to rest and finish cooking.


Serve salmon immediately topped with tomato jam…and maybe some grilled corn, too.