Seared salmon with pickled carrots, cracked wild rice, and bee pollen

By Shane M. Chartrand and Jennifer Cockrall-King
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Cathryn Sprague

Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), also known as spring salmon, king salmon, and black or blackmouth salmon, are the largest of the Pacific salmon and can grow up to 45 kilograms but on average weigh in at about 13 kilograms. They’re lovely and loaded with fat, which means loads of flavour. That’s why you don’t need to do much to them, other than cook them. The tang of the pickles is a nice foil for the rich, fatty salmon.




  • 1 cup / 250 milliliters wild rice
  • 3 cups / 750 milliliters Pheasant Broth (recipe page 280), fish broth, or chicken broth
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons / 30 milliliters butter


  • 1/2 cup / 125 milliliters white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup / 125 milliliters water
  • 1/3 cup / 80 milliliters good-quality organic honey (see page 134)
  • 2 tablespoons / 30 milliliters granulated sugar
  • 2 large carrots, peeled


  • 1 × 1.3 kilogram Chinook salmon, skin on and pinboned, cut into individual portions
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon / 15 milliliters canola oil
  • 1/4 cup / 60 milliliters bee pollen (see sidebar on page 94)
  • 18 to 22 watercress leaves


  1. Prepare the rice: Preheat the oven to 350° / 175°C (see Tip on page 94).
  2. Combine the rice, broth, and a big pinch of salt. Cook over medium-high heat for 45 minutes, until the rice is tender. Season with salt and finish with the butter. Set aside.
  3. Make the pickled carrots: In a medium pot, combine the vinegar, water, honey, and sugar and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
  4. Using a vegetable peeler, cut the carrot lengthwise into ribbons. Place the ribbons in a heatproof bowl and pour the reduced vinegar mixture over top. Cover and refrigerate.
  5. Prepare the salmon: Using a sharp knife, cut the salmon into 170 gram pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Heat the oil in a heavy non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Place the salmon pieces skin-side down and cook until golden brown, about four minutes. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and continue cooking for four to six minutes, until the fish is fully translucent and flakes easily with a fork. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately transfer the cooked salmon to a plate to stop the cooking.
  7. For each serving, scoop some wild rice onto a plate and top with a piece of salmon. Top with a generous pile of the pickled carrots and sprinkle with bee pollen and a few watercress leaves. Serve immediately.


Excerpted from 'tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine' by Shane M. Chartrand with Jennifer Cockrall-King. Copyright © 2019 Shane Mederic Chartrand and Jennifer Cockrall-King. Reproduced with permission from House of Anansi Press Inc., Toronto. All rights reserved.


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