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By Kristi Alexandra With sushi being a long-held staple of the Vancouver diet, it’s a wonder that Hawaiian poke—a cubed raw fish salad served atop rice—hadn’t hit the city’s mainstream earlier. Since 2016, though, it seems a new poke-fusion place is cropping up on every block. So, pescatarians rejoice! Now, the raw fish dish can be found trickling in to communities outside of Vancouver, and Steve Huynh is bringing his authentic poke to the community. But what is authentic poke, anyway? “Poke means chopped in Hawaii,” imparts Huynh, owner of Steve’s Poke Bar, “there’s different variations of raw fish. In Japan, you get sasami; if you go to Puerto Rico or Mexico, you’ll get ceviche. Different dishes have different ways to present raw fish,” the restaurateur tells WestCoastFood. Huynh and his wife, Camy opened the doors to Steve’s Poke Bar at SFU Burnaby in early 2017, serving up an authentic…

By Brittany Tiplady Although it’s available year-round, spring and summer just feels like the right time to enjoy all of the fresh seafood that BC has to offer. Sure, you can grab a bowl of mussels or a platter of oysters just about anywhere, but where in Metro Vancouver can one go to try BC seafood prepared and served with innovation and uniqueness in mind? We sat down with Jenice Yu, proprietor of Fresh Ideas Start Here, seafood expert, foodie and fish purveyor to get the inside scoop. Let’s eat! Coquille 181 Carrall Street, Vancouver Coquille is the brand-new kid on the block, that’s already making quite the impression. When ordering, check out the spaghetti with clams, basil and uni butter, and the roasted lingcod or the extravagant seafood platter. “Coquille has a different approach to West Coast seafood. They are very innovative; Coquille uses a lingcod collar, which actually…

By Jack Chen, Chef and Co-Owner, Coquille Fine Seafood Serves 4 INGREDIENTS 1 filet of Halibut (approximately 1 lb.) Curing Salt Coarse sea salt (1 cup) Granulated sugar (1 cup) Zest of 1 lemon Zest of 1 lime Zest of 1 orange Combine all ingredients and let it sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours. Poaching liquid Fish stock (any flavoured stock will work) (2 L) Butter (1 cup) 1 sprig tarragon 3 bay leaves 1 lemon peel Pinch salt Combine and set aside for later use. Oyster Beurre Blanc Butter, diced into 1 cm cubes (1 lb) White wine (1 cup) Heavy cream (2 cups) 3 shallots, thinly sliced 1 bay leaf Lemon juice (1/4 cup) Oysters, chopped (1 cup) Pinch salt Parsley Chives Chervil Tarragon DIRECTIONS Beurre Blanc Reduce white wine with shallots and bay leaf until you have a syrup-like liquid. Add cream and reduce…

By Brittany Tiplady Jenice Yu is a force. You may have seen her live on a CTV or CBC segment, or maybe you’ve followed one of her delightful seasonal recipes on BC Living, MONTECRISTO Magazine, or Western Living. Or, maybe, you’ve stopped into one of her fish shops, Fresh Ideas Start Here (f.i.s.h.), for some fresh seafood and a poke bowl to-go. Yu is a savvy business woman, an Ocean Wise advocate, seafood expert, a recipe developer and one of the most beloved entrepreneurs in Metro Vancouver. Her accolades are many. She’s been lauded as ‘Supplier of the Year’ by Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, just a few years after opening her first f.i.s.h. location, and is recognized province-wide for her knowledge and passion for sustainable seafood. At a young age, Yu and her family immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong. The fish processing business became a family business, paving the…

By Joyce Chua, Vancouver Foodie Tours Sweet, delicate, light and delicious, British Columbia’s spot prawns are highly coveted by chefs and foodies from around the world. In addition to their unique taste and spotted markings, fresh spot prawns, bred and harvested off the coast of British Columbia, are one of the most sustainable seafood choices on the market. BC’s spot prawn season is a short 6-8 weeks, which kicks off with an annual Spot Prawn Festival in Vancouver. On May 12, 2018, sun poured over the docks at Fisherman’s Wharf for the 12th Annual Spot Prawn Festival, where chefs, foodies, and seafood lovers gathered together to greet the fishing boats and indulge in the season’s first harvest. While the festival may be a one-day event, anyone is welcome to partake in the daily spot prawn spectacle at Fisherman’s Wharf. Just two minutes from Granville Island, anyone can walk down to…

By Chef Daryle Nagata, Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant Richmond’s own Chopped Canada champion, Chef Daryle Nagata is of Japanese and Scottish heritage, and developed his skills in some of the finest hotels in the world. He is a strong proponent of fresh and local and was a grass roots trailblazer in sourcing his ingredients from local farmers, markets, foragers and fishermen. Makes 8 portions.  INGREDIENTS Diced Ahi Tuna (16 oz) Sake (3 oz) Light miso paste (2 oz) Sesame oil (1 oz) Rice wine vinegar (1 oz) Ponzu soya sauce – Japanese (1 oz) Water (1 oz) Chopped pickled ginger (1 oz) Togarashi spice (1 tsp) Chopped chives (1 tbsp) Chopped kaiware (daikon radish sprouts) (20 pcs) Bonito flakes (1 oz) Flying fish roe (tobiko) (1 oz) Shrimp crackers (8 pcs) DIRECTIONS Dice Salmon in ½ inch cubes. Toss diced salmon in 3 oz of sake. Reserve covered & refrigerated…

By Dan Olson, Chef/Owner, Railtown Café and Catering A light spring dish layered with sweet pea puree, shellfish gelée, chowder garnish and potato cream, topped with caviar and a crisp rye crouton. Made with Littleneck clams, Dungeness crab, Side Stripe shrimp, Salt Spring Island mussels, and Northern Divine caviar. Serves 8 appetizer portions INGREDIENTS Spring Pea Purée Freshly-shucked English peas (2 cups) 1 spring onion (white only), julienned 1 clove garlic 1 sprig tarragon heavy cream (1/2 cup) butter (1 tsp) salt and pepper 1 lemon Shellfish Gelée 1 fresh Dungeness crab Live littleneck clams (3oz) Live mussels (3oz) Side striped shrimp, peeled and cleaned (3oz) 1 shallot Chopped garlic (2 cloves) Parsley chiffonade Chive tips White wine (1/4 cup) Butter (1 tsp) Salt Cracked black pepper Carrot (1/2) 1 celery stalk Double-shucked peas (2 tbsp) 1/4 fennel and fennel frond 2 sheets gelatin (bloomed in ice water) Potato Vichyssoise …

By Catherine Dunwoody If being elbow-deep in the freshest, tastiest seafood around is your kind of feast, then The Captain’s Boil is your new go-to eatery. And with so many options of flavor, spice, and sides, it’s a crowd-pleaser for everyone in the family. With numerous west coast locations, including Richmond, Coquitlam, Vancouver’s North Shore (coming soon), and Vancouver, this Canadian chain restaurant offers a classic Cajun-inspired seafood boil that you customize to suit your tastes perfectly. Start with choosing from a variety of freshly caught fish and shellfish, then add sides and sauces from a lengthy menu of options. You’ll be given a plastic bib and gloves to protect your clothes and hands from the delicious mess, and you wont find cutlery on the table either. Shellfish crackers are provided and the fun begins. Try the Cajun crawfish with a side of okra, or the king crab legs with…

By Alexis Baran I dare you to put a jellyfish in your mouth. Double dare! The Blue Water Café makes it easy to brag about your culinary audacity this February with the Unsung Heroes Festival. The “heroes” of the festival are the locally plentiful, sustainable, yet overlooked and delicious seafood that North American menus have often forgotten. Barnacles for example (yes, those sharp little guys who dig into your bare feet on the beach) actually come in many varieties. Gooseneck barnacles, sourced from Clayoquot sound, have a soft stalk that Executive Chef Frank Pabst has featured in previous years. This year the oddball star of the show is red sea cucumber, a soft creature who lives on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean down to 250 m (820 ft). Try the red sea cucumber “hot dog style” with Asian pear and sweet pepper relish and uni miso mustard on a…

By Chef Ned Bell, from his Lure Cookbook Serves 8 INGREDIENTS Sauce Vierge Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced (4 tomatoes or about 3 cups) Large shallot, finely chopped (1 or about ¼ cup) Chopped flat-leaf parsley (½ cup) Chopped fresh chives (½ cup) Chopped fresh tarragon (3 Tbsp) Extra-virgin olive oil (½ cup) Zest and juice of 1 large lemon Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper Salmon Salmon fillet (1 fillet, 2 to 3 lb) Olive oil, for brushing the salmon and for drizzling Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper ½ lemon DIRECTIONS Sauce Vierge 1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Season to taste. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes. Salmon 1. Preheat the oven to 350°f. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the skin of the salmon with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. 2. Place the…

Catherine Dunwoody Is there a seafood enthusiast on your Christmas list? We found the perfect present. Chef Ned Bell has his first cookbook recently published, titled Lure Sustainable Seafood – Recipes from the West Coast. Ned’s mission to bring sustainable seafood to restaurants and fish markets around BC, and now to our own kitchens with this cookbook has been impressive. As Dr. David Suzuki, award-winning scientist, environmentalist, and broadcaster says, “Ned’s passion for sustainable seafood is infectious and this book irresistible. Bring his recipes into your home to support healthy oceans.” Lure walks the reader through all things fish, from selecting to preparing, to cooking and serving fresh, delicious meals. With 80 recipes to make at home included, it’s a useful edition to any foodie’s library. Here’s a sneak peek with Chef Ned Bell’s recipe for Salmon Bake.

Photos by Michele Mateus Words by Alexis Baran In southern Richmond, there’s a salty maritime breeze where the Fraser River meets the Pacific Ocean. The wood keys of the boardwalk play warm, hollow rhythms underfoot, and seagulls screech and coo on salt-bleached perches. A favourite spot to fly a kite or spend an afternoon with the family, seaside Steveston is a neighbourhood of marine wildlife, cozy shops, and some of the freshest seafood around. Start your day back in 1894 at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. The building that was once one of the largest producers of canned salmon in BC is now a museum. It still holds much of the original equipment and displays historic photos of the BC fishing industry. Since 1989, visitors have been able to stroll along the pier in Steveston and see for themselves which Pacific seafood is in season at Fisherman’s Wharf. While the…

One of Vancouver’s favourite Gastown restaurant & bars brings in local food producers from areas all over Canada’s West Coast as key ingredients in their menus. Tuc Craft Kitchen’s summer menu is food that needs to be shared. Chef Roy Flemming has brought his A-game to the table, with dishes like these: Pork Curado Curado is a Latin term for “cured”, and this pork from Gelderman Farms in Abbotsford are raised ethically, and then Chef brines, braises, and roasts the meat including the skin to get it extra crispy. The result is a tender/crispy dish where a little goes a long way. Seafood Tamarind Bisque This bisque is based on a Thai soup recipe with loads of tamarind, sour orange, dried shrimp paste, and curry. “This summer we’re serving ours with local catch (depending on what’s freshest – could be rockfish, ling cod, steelhead, or halibut)” says Chef Flemming. Throw in…

By Catherine Dunwoody Sure. We have salmon, spot prawns and Dungeness crab aplenty here on the west coast, but that doesn’t mean we don’t crave fresh lobster every summer as well, like our neighbours out east who get to feast on it regularly. Loving fresh lobster is easy right now on Canada’s west coast. Here’s a hot list of restaurants serving it up in a variety of ways. Lobster. The love is real, people.  Vancouver Lobster Fest is an annual thing at Provence Marinaside, returning every July and on now ‘til month end. Executive Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia created a three-course menu for a sweet deal at $62 with optional wine pairings for an additional charge. Choices of starters like lobster salad with fresh peas and puree or classic lobster Thermidor whet your palate for even more, with main options offered x3. The whole Atlantic lobster done Provençal style is ridiculously…

by Catherine Dunwoody With floor to ceiling windows overlooking Vancouver’s Library Square, Hendricks Resto-Lounge is just what Robson Street needs. A hotel restaurant that’s not just there to service the guests sleeping in those Westin Grande Hotel Heavenly Beds, but a new eatery for breakfast, lunch and dinner that locals will love as well. Matter of fact, locals already are loving it plenty. Hendricks sleek bar bisects the room into restaurant to the right, lounge to the left. Serving up old-school drinks updated with fresh, bright flavours, like head bartender Matt’s Robson Roy cocktail with Apothecary Bitters from East Van. Note: check out the live music and DJ nights here too. Chef Chris Savino’s menus are impressive, with fresh BC seafood front and centre. The Shrimp Cocktail features tiny, tender and meaty Bella Bella humpback shrimp from Organic Oceans, shredded lettuce and green goddess dressing. The west coast salmon salad is a colourful plate with spinach &…

By Joyce Chua of Vancouver Foodie Tours This Year’s BC Spot Prawn Festival is coming up on May 13th, and it’s your chance to try these little local sea creatures that are coveted around the world for their delicate flavour, plump nature, and eye-catching “spotted” markings. 2017 marks the 11th annual Spot Prawn Festival, which will include a spot prawn gala, spot prawn cooking classes and the famous spot prawn boil. Festival founder, seafood entrepreneur and Ocean Wise advocate, Chef Rob Clark, reflects on over a decade that’s gone by. How it began: Starting the Spot Prawn Festival When Chef Robert Clark started the Spot Prawn Festival, he was the chef at C Restaurant – a fine dining establishment that until it’s closure in 2014, was known for its impressive seafood menu. The search for sustainable seafood and spot prawns sprouted out of necessity, as Chef Robert wanted to serve…

Delicious, ocean-fresh seafood tastes better when you know it is being caught with ethical, sustainable methods that will keep local waters bountiful for generations to come. Canada’s West Coast offers fish, crab, oysters and more caught fresh from the rivers and the ocean in our backyard. Featured in this video: Charlie Don’t Surf, The Vancouver Aquarium, Wild Rice, Steveston Seafood House

By Joyce Chua, Vancouver Foodie Tours Long gone are the days of food carts peddling only hotdogs and pretzels – in Vancouver food trucks showcase multicultural menus and gourmet ingredients. Take Kaboom Box, for example which is a staple in the heart of downtown. Locals swarm Kaboom Box on the daily, hungry for hot smoked salmon sandwiches, Pacific cod fish and chips, and gulf island oyster po’boys. It’s an obvious case for seriously delicious coastal food. What may come as a surprise to first-timers, is that Kaboom Box is dedicated to certified Ocean Wise seafood and sustainably produced meat. Their greens are organic, and all items are sourced locally, whenever possible. The notes are subtle, and it takes a keen eye to spot the Ocean Wise sticker on the side of the truck. But perhaps that’s the greatest allure of Kaboom is that they’re hardly self-righteous – quality ingredients are…

By Sheliza Mitha Across a few short, bustling and walkable blocks of Coquitlam is where you’ll find Austin Heights – an unassuming culinary gem that’s home to some of the most delicious and densely concentrated restaurants anywhere in the Lower Mainland. Overflowing with restaurants representing nearly every corner of the globe, the area is relatively small in size (making it easy to explore by foot) but big on taste serving up the height(s) of culinary adventure with almost every step. Here, you’ll find a veritable foodie destination that requires some serious and dedicated exploration – which is just what I set out to do one bright, sunshine-filled day. The goal was to spend a good part of my day in a self-guided food tour of the area. This meant nearly five-hours of restaurant hopping to experience just a few of the area’s tastiest and most unique experiences – only because…

By Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism Diners at Pier 7 Restaurant + Bar enjoy what has to be one of the most spectacular views of any restaurant on the North Shore. Located in Lower Lonsdale’s historic Victory Shipyards, the restaurant overlooks Burrard Inlet and the glittering towers downtown Vancouver. The heated patio is the perfect spot for enjoying a glass of wine while soaking up the evening sun and the dining room is warm, cozy, and perfect for savouring any of the memorable dishes on Executive Chef Matthew Phillip’s menu. The Pier 7 menu is seafood focused and emphasizes boat-to-table choices as well as seasonal, local fare. An Ocean Wise partner, they includes tasty sustainable seafood offerings including grilled west coast salmon and fresh-shucked oysters. Be sure to head down on a Thursday for “the boil,” an impressive seafood feast that includes Dungeness crab, snow crab, prawns, mussels, clams, grilled corn…

By Nikki Bayley One of the annual thrills in the Vancouver foodie calendar is the opening of the Richmond Night Market for their summer season. Each year between mid-May to mid-October, night market aficionados hop on the Canada Line to Richmond’s Bridgeport Station to dive into delicious Asian street food and innovative desserts and to browse the stalls of the 200 or so vendors selling everything from toys and balloons to the latest must-have gizmo from Hong Kong. It’s very easy to find the market from the station, there are plenty of signs but all you need to do is follow the hordes of eager food fans walking the 5 minutes or so across to the market grounds. To avoid the often long line-ups, the fastest way in is to buy a $20 Zoom pack (which gives seven express entry coupons that can be used throughout the season or split…

By Tim Pawsey Header photo by Tyler Ingram Way back, when it was still a sleepy little resort, decades before the George Massey Tunnel was opened (in 1959), the best way to reach White Rock from Vancouver was by rail. The reminders are still all there, from the vintage train station (now restored as White Rock Museum & Archives), to the freights that regularly trundle along the tracks that separate the expansive, sandy shore and promenade from the view cafés and patios of the main street. East Beach Cod is God at East Beach (closest to Highway 99 and Peace Arch border crossing), which may well have the highest concentration of fish n’ chip shops anywhere in the land. Take your pick, from ling cod and clam strips at The Fishboat or fresh cod and chips at Coney Island (15487 Marine Dr) to fish and oyster burgers plus specialties like…

By Nikki Bayley Many visitors to the west coast are drawn by its zingingly fresh seafood, famous the world over for being some of the very best that the ocean has to offer. However, overfishing is the greatest threat to all our oceans today and according to Ocean Wise, the Vancouver Aquarium conservation program which launched a decade ago to help consumers make environmentally friendly choices, “…an estimated 90% of all large, predatory fish are already gone from the world’s oceans. A recent scientific study predicted a world-wide fisheries collapse by 2048. The only solution is to turn back from the brink, and to begin consuming seafood in a sustainable manner.” Robert Clark and Mike McDermid are two men on a mission to change the way that we think about buying and eating seafood. After helping create and launch the Ocean Wise programme, they’ve taken the next step and have…

Last year chef Ned Bell launched the Chefs for Oceans Foundation and rode his bike 8,700 km across Canada in a bid to raise awareness of sustainable seafood and healthy lakes, rivers and oceans. Executive chef at The Vancouver Aquarium, Ned Bell believes passionately in educating diners on seafood sustainability and introducing them to delicious Ocean Wise alternatives. “People come to BC and they are looking for the west coast experience,” says Ned. “ I’d love them to start looking beyond wild salmon and enjoy some more of our rock-star sustainable seafoods!” Vancouver is leading the wave of change to a more sustainable diet when it comes to seafood. Explains Bell, “I think it’s because we have that connection to the coast and the extraordinary seafood that we get to pull from our ocean. We’re recognized for our passion for the environment and a healthy lifestyle too.” Visitors to the…

By Carolyn Ali Ever tried jellyfish, sturgeon liver, or smelt? What about gooseneck barnacles, sea cucumber, or whelks? (Perhaps you’re wrinkling your nose right about now and wondering,”What the heck is a whelk? Blue Water Cafe features these and other under-appreciated sea creatures throughout February during the restaurant’s Unsung Heroes festival. The month-long event promotes sustainable seafood by urging diners to try something a little (or a lot) different from what they’re accustomed to eating. The idea is to bring awareness to local and unique seafood and to avoid species that are over-fished or harvested in ways that can damage ocean beds. It’s a goal also promoted by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise conservation program, of which Blue Water Cafe is a founding member. Don’t worry: you don’t have to finish your plate or forgo the salmon you know you’ll love. Octopus is an easy place to start. If you’ve tried it before and…