By Jaclyn Jularbal
When you talk about west coast cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is usually salmon – baked, smoked, candied, and cured. So many species of salmon have flourished around BC and for centuries Indigenous communities across the province have been dishing them up deliciously.
Chef Paul Natrall of Squamish Nation has been specializing in Indigenous cuisines for over 5 years. After his graduation from the Aboriginal Culinary Arts program at Vancouver Community College, he takes a special interest in creating the most unique flavours of salmon candy. His catering business, the PR Bannock Factory, serves up delicious bags by the pound at local farmers markets and on order all-year round.
Salmon candy gets its flavouring from the salt and brown sugar used to flavour it. Left overnight the wet fish texture changes and becomes ready for its next steps towards becoming the almost syrup-like candied texture that it’s known for. Sockeye works exceptionally well for Paul, who often prepares large batches of salmon candy at a time for customer orders across the city.
Candied salmon is great served on salads, as a side, or in a snack bowl. The rich, mouth-watering flavours can boast anything from teriyaki tastes to the more traditional sweetness. All flavours are great tasting on their own or paired nicely with buttered bannock. The simple, fluffy texture of bannock has its own hearty taste and the two on a plate together, well, they’re delicious.
If you’re looking for west coast food then you have to give candied salmon a try.
You can find Paul at the Shipyard Night Market, the Artisan Farmers Market, and local community pow wows. Candied salmon is also available in different flavours over the counter at Granville Island Public Market.