Ocean Wise, a nationwide conservation program aimed at educating chefs and consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood, is releasing a second cookbook.
Featuring recipes from renowned chefs across Canada as well as tips for cooking an alternative (and responsible) catch, Ocean Wise is calling-to-action the people of Vancouver, to source their seafood supper sustainably.
We spoke to Ocean Wise Cookbook 2 editor Jane Mundy to find out more about this collaborative effort.
Jane Mundy: The Ocean Wise Cookbook 2 features 40 kinds of seafood, from oysters to octopus and from pink salmon to sturgeon, and even a few seaweed recipes (kelp is the new kale.) Many chefs submitted recipes featuring seafood and fish that they sourced locally, such Lake Erie pickerel cakes. Keep in mind that one of the best conservation methods is to diversify—eat many kinds of sustainable fish and seafoods.
All the recipes have an ‘ease of use’ indicator. ‘1’ is super easy (such as spot prawn ceviche or fish tacos) while ‘4’ (think bouillabaisse) is for the more experienced home cook. Having said that, most all recipes designated ‘4’, are easy if you take some time to carefully read the method and make components of the recipe ahead of time.
The second Ocean Wise cookbook is packed with information about cooking techniques such as smoking and sous vide–and do try this at home. As well, did you know that frozen is often better than fresh seafood? Or that many fish farms are sustainable? The book isn’t just about cooking sustainable seafood, it’s also about understanding it. Throughout the book you’ll find interviews with fishermen and chefs, as well as some terrific images.
There are more than 150 retail outlets across Canada where you can pick up Ocean Wise seafood. A full list is available at www.oceanwise.ca. In Vancouver, a stand-out place to pick up Ocean Wise seafood is The Fish Counter on Main Street, which is owned by Ocean Wise co-founders Robert Clark and Mike McDermid. It only stocks sustainable seafood and also makes a mean plate of fish and chips.
The Ocean Wise Cookbook 2 will be widely available July 6. To give you a taste of what’s in the book, Ocean Wise has shared two recipes for fans to try out at home.
Tataki is a cooking technique I learned in Japan and I fell in love with its simplicity. I use it at the restaurant often and combine it with local ingredients. It uses ikura, the Japanese term for wild salmon roe or salmon caviar. This is a great refreshing appetizer, and watercress adds a peppery crunch to the dish. –Chris Whittaker
Using a torch or other source of open flame (gas burner or barbecue), sear the salmon very lightly until the flesh just begins to colour. Plunge the salmon fillet into ice water to stop cooking. Remove once cool and pat dry. Slice thinly with a very sharp knife.
Mix roe and vodka together and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Add celeriac, parsley, capers, caper brine and Tabasco to the remoulade and mix well. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
1 cup (250 mL) chopped watercress
Place watercress in a row across the plate. Arrange tataki on top of watercress. Make sure each piece of salmon gets a little remoulade and roe on top as this is the seasoning for the fish.
Pairing Suggestion: Sparkling wine or sake
This is my favourite way to eat spot prawns, and it doesn’t get much simpler. –Ned Bell
Substitutions: One tablespoon (15 mL) chili flakes are a good substitute for fresh jalapeños.
Mix all the ingredients together, except the crackers. Marinade for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt, pepper and additional lime juice.
Crispy wontons, corn chips or crackers
Drain the prawns. Serve family style in the middle of the table in large bowls with guacamole. Serve with crispy wontons, corn chips or your favourite crispy cracker.
Pairing Suggestion: Tom Firth: Road 13 Jackpot Viognier Roussane Marsanne