We understand that even the boldest of cooks can be intimidated by the prospect of buying and cooking fish. But Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise® executive chef Ned Bell says it’s actually really straightforward once you get rid of all of the things that don’t matter. “‘How do I cook fish is probably the most common question I get,” says chef Ned Bell. “I always say that it all comes down to the quality of the fish before you do anything to it at all – fresh, wild, sustainable seafood is incredibly easy to make delicious.”

Rainy autumn on the west coast of Canada can be very gloomy and grey – 2016 has been no exception. Warm, nutritious, simple and exceptionally seasonal — this wild salmon with warm chickpea salad and cranberry pickle recipe is perfect for a late fall gathering of friends and family. This is sure to be a dish that you return to more than once and even adapt to incorporate different ingredients as the seasons serve them up.

Wild BC Ocean Wise Salmon

November is both Ocean Wise month and the end of the Wild BC Salmon season. We used wild chum salmon from Johnstone Strait, but any Ocean Wise fish will work well.

  • 4-5 oz pieces of your favourite fresh Ocean Wise fish


Pan sear, BBQ or grill for about 2-3 minutes per side, season with Vancouver Island sea salt & cracked black pepper.

 Warm Chickpea, Hazlenut and Laird Lentil Salad

  • 1 cup cooked laird lentils
  • 1 cup cooked chick peas
  • 1 shallots, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp sea salt


In a saute pan, sweat the shallots with the olive oil, add the sea salt, the lentils and the chick peas, add the hazelnuts last.


Build the plate with the warm salad, place the fish on top, and add the Cranberry Pickle.

Cranberry & Honey ‘Pickle’

It’s the best time of year for tart, gorgeous local cranberries which make great jams, relishes, chutneys compotes or ketchups for your next fall or winter family meal.

This can be made with any local fresh seasonal fruit such as apples, pears, and quince. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

  • 3 cups frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar


Cook everything together in a small pot for 15 minutes, cool before serving. This cranberry and honey “pickle” is also great on grilled fish, Ocean Wise seafood or grilled veggies. Also great on cheese plates or over Vanilla Ice Cream.

Build your plate with the warm salad, place the salmon on top, add the Cranberry Pickle and enjoy!


Ocean Wise executive chef Ned Bell showing off his warm, nutritious, simple and exceptionally seasonal salmon recipe.




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