Recipe: Rhonda’s Bristol Bay Salmon

This salmon recipe combines sweet and spicy, thanks to brown sugar and Sriracha sauce.David Draper

I picked up this salmon recipe at a farmer's market in Anchorage a few year's back. Trout Unlimited's Alaska Program had a booth educating the public about the threat to Alaska's wild salmon fishery from the proposed Pebble Mine. While we outsiders might not hear much about Pebble Mine, it's still a very real problem for Alaskans and Bristol Bay's many stakeholders, including fishermen and lodge owners. In fact, Congressional hearings regarding the mine have been held by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources as recent as last week. You can find out more about the mine, and the importance of the Bristol Bay fishery at Save Bristol Bay and from Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska.

As for the recipe, it’s a fairly straightforward baked salmon that’s both sweet and spicy thanks to liberal doses of brown sugar and Sriracha. It comes courtesy of Rhonda Wayner of Naknek Family Fisheries in Naknek, Alaska.

1 wild Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fillet
Sesame oil
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Sriracha sauce (more/less depending on how spicy you want it)

1. Remove the skin from the salmon with a sharp knife. Start at the tail and wiggle your knife toward the collar area of the fish.

2. Pull the pinbones out with good pinbone tweezers. After the fish is pinboned, cut it into 4 oz. or 6 oz. portions. Put the fish in a baking pan, skin side down, with a little bit of sesame oil in the pan.

3. Mix together the brown sugar, soy sauce, and Sriracha sauce. Pour the sauce over the salmon in pan. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place salmon in the oven and cook for 13-17 minutes, depending on how done you prefer your fish.