Solomos Stiffado (salmon stew with onions)


Stiffado is traditionally made with wild hare or domesticated rabbits as well as beef but new versions have been appearing with chicken, lamb, or sea food. Stiffado is a Greek and Cypriot stew made with lots of onions, which add a sweetness to the dish as well as red wine, vinegar and honey, producing a mildly sweet and sour sauce.

The word “stiffado or stifado” comes from the Italian word “stuffado” which was introduced to Greece and Cyprus by the Venetians. Originally no tomato was included in this dish but after the introduction of the tomato, to the Europeans, after the discovery of America, the Greeks added tomato to this stew. In Cyprus, however, it has kept its original form and is made until today without tomato. The traditional Cypriot recipe is included in my cookbook.

Salmon is not part of Greek or Cypriot cuisine as it has only appeared during recent years. I based this recipe on the Cypriot stiffado, this is why I am including it here, in my Cypriot blog, but as I love fusion cuisine, I have added ingredients which, in my opinion, match with salmon.

Salmon cooks quickly, so after marinating and sautéing the fish, I removed it and cooked the onions for 45 minutes, until soft and the liquid ingredients reduced by 2/3. I then added the fish which I immersed in the sauce, turning it over briefly to absorb the flavour of the sauce.

The dish turned out delicious and very light, as I used minimum amount of olive oil and sweetened the sauce with the addition of orange juice and epsima (grape molasses), called petimezi in Greek.

Solomos (salmon) Stiffado, recipe by Ivy

Preparation time: 10 Minutes
Marinating time: about 1 hour
Cooking time: 45 + 5
Serves: 2 – 3


500 grams of salmon fillet
1 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup water

For the marinade

1 tbsp mixed spice mixture
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp orange zest
½ cup orange juice

For stiffado

4 onions, cut into slices
1 big clove garlic, finely cut
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp brown sugar
3/4 cup red dry wine
1 tbsp epsima (grape molasses) or use honey
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf


Wash the salmon and place it in a shallow bowl with all the marinade ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Cut the fillet in smaller pieces. Heat the olive oil and sauté the salmon on both sides. Remove to a platter.
Add the other tbsp olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for a few minutes and then add the salt and sugar. Keep mixing until they begin to caramelize.
Add the wine, epsima, vinegar, leftover marinade, bay leaf and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover the casserole and simmer until the onions are cooked. Check regularly until the liquids reduce by 2/3.

Add the salmon fillets on top of the onions, gently mix with the onions, cover again with the lid and cook for 5 minutes, turning it after 2 – 3 minutes.

You can serve it with fried potatoes, rice pilaf or mashed potatoes but when on diet, serve it with salad.  Today I served it with ampelofassoula.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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