Chocolate pairs well with many seafood dishes, from abalone to lobster, shrimp and in this case, salmon. The pairing is one Neptune himself would endorse. The sauce is most certainly a divine gift.

Zinfandel, chocolate, and flavorful spices make an interesting combination for barbecued fresh salmon. If you are unable to grill the fish, you may broil it in your oven. You can have this on the table in about 30 minutes. You may also like to try this spice blend on boneless pork loin chops, shrimp or chicken.

Cocoa Spicy Salmon

Cocoa Spicy Salmon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A sultry, seductive salmon recipe with incredible flavor.
Serves: 4
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • dash of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon filet (see Notes)
Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce:
  • 1 Cup Zinfandel
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  1. Heat a grill on medium-high heat. Smear 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over the bottom of a shallow aluminum pan. (Alternatively, you may form a tray out of a double layer of heavy foil. Be sure to place it on a cookie sheet for stability.)
  2. Whisk together sugar, dry mustard, cinnamon, paprika, cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, pepper, and salt.
  3. Coat both sides of the salmon filet with remaining olive oil. Place in grill pan. Sprinkle generously with the cocoa spice mixture and pat down. (You may have some spice mix left over. Store in a glass jar in a cool, dark place up to 6 months.)
  4. Grill salmon about 10 minutes per inch of thickness, until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Do not overcook or it will become dry.
Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce:
  1. Make the reduction. In a saucepan, combine the wine and sugar. Slowly simmer over low heat until reduced by a third. Remove from heat and stir to cool. As the mixture begins to thicken and cool, stir in chopped chocolate until well blended. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. Serve as a condiment with Cocoa Spicy Salmon.
You may also broil this salmon dish in your oven if a grill is not available.
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