A couple of weeks ago, I had a life-changing dining experience…at home. I ordered ora king salmon not knowing what to expect and when I cooked it for dinner, it was unbelievable. The salmon was incredibly buttery and just melted away in your mouth. I can honestly say I never had salmon like this before. Plus it didn’t hurt that the fish was marinated in spices and topped with a savory relish. If you ever have the chance to buy ora king salmon, I highly recommend it. But even if you don’t, I still believe this spiced salmon with caramelized onion and pepper relish will be a winner. The combination is just delightful!

spiced salmon with caramelized onion and pepper relish

spiced salmon with caramelized onion and pepper relish


Serves 4


Spiced Salmon with Caramelized Onion and Pepper Relish

45 minTotal Time

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    Spiced salmon
  • 1 lb salmon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
  • salt and pepper
  • Caramelized onion and pepper relish
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • Whipped feta
  • 4 ounces feta
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt, plain
  • 2 tsp fresh dill


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Season the salmon. Combine 2 minced garlic with 1 tsp lemon zest, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp oregano. Rub 1 tbsp oil into the salmon and season with salt and pepper. Spread the seasoning mix on the salmon and let sit for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the caramelized onion and pepper relish. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the red onion and season with salt. Cook until browned and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the sliced bell peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tsp minced ginger, 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, a pinch of sugar, tossing to combine. Season the relish with salt and pepper and finish with 2 tbsp chopped basil. Keep warm.
  4. Bake the salmon for about 12-14 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Remove from the oven and keep warm.
  5. While the salmon is baking, make the whipped feta. In a food processor, puree 4 ounces feta with 2 tbsp greek yogurt until smooth. Add 2 tsp fresh dill and pulse until combined.
  6. Spoon the whipped feta onto a platter and place the salmon on top followed by the onion and pepper relish. Garnish with more fresh basil. Serve immediately.


**Helpful tips and common mistakes

I just love it when the recipe seems so simple but the results are anything but. This spiced salmon with caramelized onion and pepper relish doesn’t seem that fancy but boy those flavors are just a match made in heaven.

First, let’s marinate the salmon in some spices including red pepper flakes, garlic, oregano, paprika, and lemon zest. Since we’re working with seafood, it only needs to marinate for 20 minutes.

ingredients to season the salmon

While the salmon is marinating, make the caramelized onion pepper relish. All you have to do is caramelize some sliced red onions, add some bell peppers, and season everything with sherry vinegar and a touch of sugar. Finish with salt, pepper, and fresh basil.

seasoned salmon

The trick to caramelizing onions is to keep the flames on medium-low to prevent the onions from burning. If the pan gets too try, add a touch of water. I also like to season the onions with a pinch of salt to help it release the water and caramelize. Season the onions in the beginning to help it caramelize more evenly as it cooks.

Now let’s go back to the salmon. Bake the salmon for 12-14 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. The time can differ depending on how thick your fish is.

finished relish and whipped feta

Meanwhile, let’s make the final component for the dish, the whipped feta. Just puree feta cheese with plain Greek yogurt and fresh dill until smooth. Think of this sauce as a type of tzatziki with the addition of feta. Creamy goodness.

Spoon the whipped feta onto the bottom of the serving platter, place the salmon on top and finish with the relish. This spiced salmon with caramelized onion and pepper relish was the hit at the dinner table. I already mentioned that the salmon was top quality but the other components really completed the dish. Everything just worked so beautifully together. Another salmon recipe to add to the list!

For more salmon inspiration, check out my slow roasted citrus salmon or Thai bbq salmon with Thai chimichurri!

spiced salmon with caramelized onion and pepper relish


Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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