Wild Fish Stew with Leeks

Different types of cod fish are caught across coastal regions of Canada, and have been a resource of crucial importance to Indigenous peoples. It provides them with more than nutrients, it also plays an important role in ceremonial traditions, creating ties between families and individuals. A catch of fresh fish provides a community with immediate subsistence and future trade and sale options, as well as employment. Traditionally no part of the fish was wasted. For example, for the Indigenous people in Central BC, fish heads are considered good for sick people because that's where the real strength lies. Smoked or dried fish is great for traveling or snacks.

This dish can be made with commercially grown leeks, but wild leeks (ramps) are a more traditional alternative that grows wild in the Northeast and Midwest of Canada. Ramps taste in between onion and garlic. Responsible harvesters leave enough stem and leaves in the ground when harvesting. When using wild leeks use the portion that grows above ground. 

A wide variety of seafood has long been used for food by coastal people of BC. Over 30 kinds of seafood are harvested from the oceans. Go to the lands and waters to find your first foods. Be active in exercising your right to hunt, fish, harvest, and gather in your territory. Ask elders (traditional knowledge keepers) how to do this in a good way. It will be good for the mind, body and spirit and contribute to a self reliant future. 

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.