Paprika-dusted Roasted Salmon with Maple-caramelized Onions

Tonight being Hallowe’en and all, I thought I’d do something easy when it came time to make dinner. After all, the doorbell was ringing every three minutes (in the end, we had about 85 kids drop by).

It started with the onions. One big Spanish onion, cut in fairly thin slices (less than 1/4 inch). They went into a big pan with some olive oil, where I kept them moving over medium heat for five minutes or so. Then I covered the pan and dropped the heat way down – like way down, barely sizzling.

I let it cook like that for 35 minutes or so, lifting the lid every five minutes to give it a stir. Then I melted a knob of butter in a smaller pan (an oven-proof skillet), and transferred the onions to that pan, along with a scratch of black pepper and salt. The photo below was taken a few minutes after the transfer.

almost there . . .

I kept the onions cooking in the smaller pan for another 15 minutes, then I stirred in a tablespoon or so of maple syrup and took it off the heat.

In the meantime, I took two salmon filets, gave them a quick rinse, and patted them dry. I used a sharp boning knife and removed the skin, then dusted them with some Moroccan paprika (you can use any type of paprika, really, although I recommend not using a very hot one so as not to overwhelm the fish).

Tucking the thin ends underneath, I placed the salmon on top of the caramelized onions, gave it another dash of salt and pepper, and plunked it into a 400°F (200° C) oven for about 15 minutes.

one more step . . .

The photo above was taken just before it went in the oven. Yes, they are pretty big pieces of fish, but one piece was just not enough, so I bought two. I was thinking “leftovers.” (There were no leftovers.)

Unfortunately, I don’t have an “after” shot. By then the lights were down, the door was quiet, and the stomach was impatient. Just before serving, I plopped three drops of balsamic vinegar glaze onto each piece of fish, and plated it with some steamed broccoli.

It was pretty tasty, I do declare. The fish was quite fresh (and “organic”) so it was nice to have it a bit rare.

For your convenience, here’s the recipe (which I made up) in an easier-to-follow format:


2 servings of fresh salmon filet, skinned and boned

2 tbsp mild paprika

1 big Spanish onion, sliced thinly

A glug of olive oil

1 knob of butter

1 tbsp maple syrup (maybe a bit more, but be careful as the onions alone are very sweet)

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tsp balsamic glaze, or balsamic vinegar


In a very large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onions over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not let the onions brown – you only want them to soften.

Cover the onions and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Stir every five minutes or so for 30-40 minues.

In a smaller, oven-proof skillet, warm a knob of butter.

Transfer the onions from the large pan to the smaller buttered pan, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook low for another 15 minutes, or until the onions are very soft (almost goopy). If the onions are very wet, leave the cover off. If they are not too wet, keep the cover on.

Turn off the heat and stir in the maple syrup.

In the meatime, rinse and pat dry the skinless salmon.

Dust the fish with the paprika.

When the onions are ready, place the salmon on top (folding the thinnest part of each filet under itself so as not try overcook the ends).

Pop into a 400°F (200° C) oven, uncovered, and roast for 12-15 minutes. (Leave in longer if you like it well done, or if the filets are thick – but be careful, as fish cooks pretty quickly at 400°F!)


3 thoughts on “Paprika-dusted Roasted Salmon with Maple-caramelized Onions

  1. We made this tonight and it indeed was yummy. We added a bit of red bell peppers to the onions for colour (we used red onions) and it looked nice and tasted excellent. the sweetness of the onions goes very well with the strong taste of the salmon.


  2. Yay! I’m glad you used the recipe and liked it! The red pepper addition sounds yummy.

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