Chef Ned Bell’s Haida Gwaii Shore Lunch
Nothing tastes better than fish you catch yourself! This recipe is very adaptable, you can use whichever type of fish you catch, and ingredients foraged or farmed where you live. Wrapping the fish in the kelp during cooking imparts a delicious flavour into the fish and keeps it very tender and moist. If you don’t have fresh kelp or want to replicate this dish at home, you can use rehydrated dried seaweed. This recipe is intended to be cooked in a cast iron pan over a beach fire, but you can easily do this at home on a stove-top or on a BBQ as well.
• 1 side of white fish (halibut, lingcod or pacific cod will all work)
• Salt & pepper
• 3 fresh kelp leaves (substitute rehydrated dry kelp if needed)
• 2 tbsp neutral high heat cooking oil (canola, avocado, grapeseed, etc)
• 3 tbsp butter
• 1 small spruce branch with spring spruce tips attached
• Zest of one lemon
• 1 cup morel mushrooms (or other mushrooms)
• 1 cup small spring turnips cut in half (or other roasting vegetables)
• 1 cup sea asparagus (or other spring vegetables)
Rub the fish with the cooking oil, season with salt and pepper.
Wrap fish with the kelp and place in a hot cast iron pan over a fire. Cover with a lid or sheet pan to keep the heat in and create a “beach oven” – let fish cook for about 10-20 minutes, depending on thickness of the fillet.
While fish is cooking grill the turnips, set aside.
Once fish is cooked through remove from pan and set aside.
Add butter to pan, sauté morels and sea asparagus. Add turnips to pan. Taste, adjust salt and pepper seasoning as needed.
Unwrap the kelp from the fish and place fish back into pan with the vegetables. Add more butter, melt and brush the fish with the melted butter using the spruce branch.
Grate lemon zest over top of dish.