This sriracha honey salmon is cooked on top of a bed of mixed vegetables in a foil packet for a complete meal all in one!

Three weeks ago, after 3 flights and about 17 hours of travel, I arrived in Cordova, Alaska.

When Copper River Salmon initially asked me to come out for a few days, I was beyond excited to not only finally get to experience Alaska but also delve deep into the whole “business” of wild salmon.

From policy set by the state’s Department of Fish and Game that ensures a sustainable fishery now and in the years to come to meeting and eating dinner with some of the fishermen themselves and everything in between, the trip was truly eye-opening.

Sriracha honey salmon vegetable packets
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Wild seafood, particularly salmon, is something I’ve been passionate about for some time.

In fact, since I was 18.

I can vividly remember driving past fish farms in Greece on my high school graduation trip and the reality of where most seafood I was eating was coming from hitting me smack in the face.

I don’t know about you, but fish that have absolutely no room to swim without being on top of each other and pretty much living in their own shit being fed god knows what is no different than the cooped up chickens or feed lot cows we’ve all gotten so passionate about not eating as of late.

That’s not the kind of protein I want to put in my body or feed anyone I know and love and so I’ll happily be that person in a restaurant who asks “is the salmon farmed or wild?”.

The great thing is, the answer to that question in my area is more and more becoming “wild” and it’s not only evident in restaurants, it’s starting to happen in the grocery store too.

I was psyched to find Copper River sockeye in my local store for this sriracha honey salmon recipe! 

And not only am I seeing wild varieties of the fresh fish but also some great wild choices for smoked salmon too which is a great choice when making this smoked salmon BLT.

Cordova Alaska-2

Of course, I’d heard of Wild Alaskan King Salmon before but it wasn’t until being immersed in the food blog world in the past couple of years that Copper River Salmon became something familiar to my ears.

I knew it was wild salmon from a certain area in Alaska and I knew it came with a decent price tag when my local store had it in season but other than that, I got off the plane in Cordova not knowing much about this superfood that supports an entire town in some way or another.

Cordova Alaska-4

During our 5 days in town we did everything from visit a glacier, talk on the radio, judge a local food contest, hike, run a road race, fish, explore Orca Bay on a local fisherman’s bowpicker, watch salmon spawning upstream, dine with fishermen, see more bald eagles than I could count, filet, cook and eat a sockeye salmon caught that morning, visit a sonar fish counting station and learn how a tiny salmon otolith (ear bone) can determine where a fish a came from.

I wore a hat and gloves in July, saw fish heads left on hiking trails by bears, experienced complete brightness at midnight and went without cell phone service for the longest stretch of time since probably 1998…it was everything I imagined Alaska would be and more.

Sriracha honey salmon

Cordova is a small town of about 3,500 in season. It’s accessible only by boat or plane and if you live there, you either somehow work in the fishing industry (which is mostly salmon but also some halibut) or you support it in some other way.

I’ll fully admit that I had no idea what the life of a fisherman was actually like before this trip unless you count the reality tv biased view of The Deadliest Catch (which, btw, The Northwestern was actually in Cordova while we were there).

Lets just say that it’s a bit less drama filled but still quite a hard, tiring, sometimes dangerous but also incredibly rewarding job.

Cordova Alaska-5

It’s also not a cheap gig to get into.

Permits alone (if you can get one because there are a limited amount to keep the sustainability of the salmon in check) can run fishermen $230K+.

That doesn’t include the cost of their boat or any other expenses.

Most fishermen live outside of Cordova and leave their families for weeks to months at a time to make a living.

Cordova Alaska-6

The whole salmon fishing process is dictated by The Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Their first and foremost priority is to maintain the sustainability of the salmon. Supporting Alaskan livelihood comes second.

One of the ways they do that at the Copper River is by maintaining a sonar station right near Child’s Glacier where 3 full time employees literally count by hand (<–that blew my mind) thousands of fish swimming upstream during the different runs (different salmon species run upstream to spawn at different times of the season).

The “escapement” information gathered by the sonar station helps Fish and Game make decisions as to when to allow fishing and for how long.

Cordova Alaska-8

When fishermen get the ok, they head out to fish and catch the salmon before they enter the streams to spawn.

In case you’ve never watched a National Geographic documentary, when salmon head back into fresh water to swim upstream and reproduce, they stop eating, their bodies start deteriorating and they have one mission…SEX.

You don’t eat them at this point in their life because their bodies go through this sort of metamorphosis and the meat just isn’t good any longer.

Fishermen catch salmon out in the open salt water before they reproduce when they’re fattening up for their journey upstream.

King salmon have always been considered “the best” because of their distinctly higher fat content than other salmon.

Reason for that being that they travel much further upstream to spawn than the others and need a higher fat reserve to do so since they stop eating at that point.

I used to think I liked King salmon the best but after this trip I’m a pretty big fan of sockeye (seen spawning below at Power Creek). They turn a beautiful red when spawning and their flesh is also naturally much more red than other salmon species.

Cordova Alaska-10

Fun fact: salmon go back to the same spot to spawn as they were born.  

Once the fish have been caught, they’re bled (a process that greatly helps extend the freshness of the fish) and either put on ice or a cold salty slurry of sorts.

At this point, most fishermen sell their fish to what’s called a tender boat.

These are boats that go out to the fishermen, pay them for their fish and transport the fish to the processing plant.

This helps the fishermen stay out on the water and make the most of their allotted fishing time rather than running fish back and forth to land.

Cordova Alaska-7

The processing plants are like any other industry, fish are sorted by type (King, Sockeye, Coho, Pink, Chum), gutted and then depending on where they’re going/what they’re being used for, filleted, frozen or canned and shipped all around the country.

You can read more about all the different types of wild salmon in this baked sockeye salmon recipe or our in-depth article on wild salmon.

Sriracha honey salmon veggie packets

After having dinner, drinking beer, running a 5k with some of the local fishermen and attending a local farmers market (where I learned the deliciousness of spruce tips and have been enjoying spruce tea every since), getting to know them, their families and their businesses, I can say that $28/lb price tag for Copper River Salmon in my local store doesn’t sting nearly as much.

You get what you pay for and this trip opened my eyes to the quality and pride that goes into each and every wild salmon.

It also made me enjoy each forkful of these easy sriracha honey salmon vegetable packets just a little bit more than usual.

Cordova Alaska-3

Places to eat in Cordova, Alaska:

Baja Taco – food truck meets restaurant and some pretty awesome Mexican eats.

Harborside Pizza – small world, the owner grew up in the town next to mine in NY. He knows good pizza. Probably my favorite two meals of the trip. Also some pretty amazing hand churned ice cream using wild local ingredients like strawberries.

Reluctant Fisherman – one of the main restaurants in town and great live music on certain nights.

Orca Adventure Lodge – this is actually where we stayed and you’d never in a million years know the food is as amazing as it is by the looks (old cannery they turned into a “hotel”) but the breakfasts and dinners we ate here were amazing. Things like reindeer sausage, 24-hour braised brisket, tart cherry pumpkin pancakes and more appeared on the menu.

Looking to buy Copper River Salmon?

Use their site locator to find it near you or you can also buy directly from one of the fishermen we met through his family’s site and business, SenaSea Seafoods.

5 from 3 votes

Sriracha Honey Salmon Vegetable Packets

Servings: 2 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 17 minutes
Total: 27 minutes
This sriracha honey salmon is cooked on top of a bed of mixed vegetables in a foil packet for a complete meal all in one!


  • 12 ounces wild salmon, 2 filets
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • sesame seeds and/or chopped chives for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine vegetables in a bowl.
  • Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, sriracha, vinegar, oil and garlic in a small bowl.
  • Lay two pieces of tin foil out and fold up all 4 sides. Spoon half the vegetable mixture onto the foil. Place the salmon on top of the vegetables then pour half the honey soy mixture on top of each piece of salmon.
  • Fold the sides of the foil together so the salmon and vegetables steam as they cook.
  • Place the foil packets on a baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon.
  • Open the foil packets and broil another 2-3 minutes to slightly caramelize the top.
  • Remove from oven and garnish with sesame seeds and/or chives. Serve straight out of the foil packet or plate.



Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 608kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 56gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 1029mgFiber: 8gSugar: 25g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American

A BIG thank you to Copper River Salmon Marketing Association for inviting me out and to each and everyone involved in making our trip as wonderful as it was.

*Copper River Salmon paid for my trip and accommodations. 

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading, and learning, from your trip to Alaska. I’m going to try your recipe this week. Also being Irish, I will be enjoying corn beef and cabbage. Although, this is more an “American Irish dish,” than in Ireland, but still delicious. Thanks for the article!

    1. I don’t know you’ll get answers as previous commenters aren’t notified of new ones. I haven’t tried it this way but I assume you could. Obviously, be careful not to overcook the fish but it should work fine!