How to cook perfect seafood
He changed his menu accordingly, and in 2005 he helped found the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program to encourage other chefs to do the same. In summer 2013, he’s opening a sustainable seafood market called The Fish Counter with partner Mike McDermid, manager of the Ocean Wise program. “We need to remove barriers that keep people from cooking seafood at home,” says Clark, who plans to share his techniques (including those here) with customers. “A lot of people just want to know, ‘How do you get fish to taste so good?’ ”
Dry-packed (or “natural”) sea scallops. Wet-packed scallops are injected with a preservative; snow-white and wet, they steam instead of browning. Dry-packed, on the other hand, are additive-free and a pinkish coral hue, and brown beautifully. Season: Year-round (avoid in late spring, after they spawn).
Spot prawns. Named for the white dots on their shells, spot prawns are sweeter and more delicate than other varieties. “You won’t need to mask their flavor with cocktail sauce,” says Clark. They’re sometimes available fresh and live, but frozen headless ones are easier to find. Season: Late spring through summer.
Sablefish (black cod). “It’s a great ‘starter’ fish: rich, buttery, lovely,” says Clark. “And it’s hard to overcook.” A small number of fish have a hard-to-detect enzyme that turns them to pudding when cooked; ask your purveyor to reimburse you if this happens. Season: Year-round; order ahead if your fish market doesn’t stock it regularly.
Recipe: Spot Prawn Sesame Salad
On the fish's flavor profile, he adds, "Sablefish goes well with a bit of sweetness, like yams, and a bit of acid—like this herb vinaigrette."