Salmon Cake

With Sage Aioli

Salmon is an important traditional resource for Indigenous peoples and it continues to be an important part of cultural traditions, social practices, and the economy. As part of its spiritual and cultural significance, salmon is believed to give you positive energy and strength when consumed. Numerous river systems in the Lower Mainland have fall runs of salmon. Chilliwack, Harrison and Capilano, to name a few. Learn more about the significance of salmon from Indigenous Tourism BC here

Salmon is prepared in a variety of ways: it is cooked on cedar planks, candied, made into jerky, made into strips, smoked, canned or cooked on the open fire. Salmon is preserved by drying, smoking, canning or freezing. Smoked salmon is hung on poles and racks inside a smokehouse for 2-3 days. Canned salmon is cut into pieces, washed, salted and then canned. Salmon can be roasted, boiled or steamed. 

Sage has a long history of use as a spice and for health purposes. It can be eaten whole or ground and has a strong, slightly minty taste. Sage is considered sacred to Indigenous people. White sage is often used for meditation, smudging, and cleansing the spirit. Indigenous people believe that desert sage is a healing plant, a claim that has been verified by scientific analysis—learn more here. A natural sage that grows in BC is sagebrush.


Fish | Tuk

One of my favourite ways to enjoy salmon is candied salmon. First you cure the salmon strips. Then you rinse the salmon strips, pat dry and smoke. Delicious way that travels well. 

Salmon is common where I live now in BC, but growing up near the Peel River we ate a lot of white fish. I had the opportunity to visit Alice (72) and Ernest (80) Vittrekwa of Fort McPherson, NT, who have spent their life fishing, processing and making delicious fish strips, half smoked fish and dried fish. Alice started at the age of 7. When off school in the summer she was at her parents' fish camp. Learning the traditional ways of working with fish, and being sure to use everything that the fish provides. I was so proud getting the opportunity to visit their fish camp and see all the skilled work done with so much pride as they carry on fishing traditions.

- Chef Stephanie


Meet The Chef

Steph Baryluk 

Chef Steph is Teetl'it Gwich'in from Teetl'it Zheh (Fort McPherson), Treaty 11 Territory located in the Northwest Territories. She now resides in Tsawwassen, BC with her husband and two kids. After completing her Red Seal as a Cook she knew she wanted to do more with her Indigenous roots. Chef Steph has hosted cooking classes and speaking engagements in her hometown and launched her own company, MRS B’S JERKY, which is a play on traditional caribou dried meat ‘Nilii Gaii’ but made with beef. She’s excited for the next steps with Indigenous cuisine.