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Send your recipe:    Or Write: Island Angler,  30 Acacia Avenue, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada V9R 3L4


Whether it's salmon, halibut, lingcod, trout, or bass, fish always tastes better if it’s cleaned and prepared soon after catching. If you’re near a fish cleaning station you can clean your catch right away. If you’re in a wilderness area you can dispose of entrails by packing them, incinerating on a hot fire, up or burying them.

Otherwise store your catch on ice in a cooler or at least wrap the fish in burlap sacking (or newspaper) and keep wet and set in a shady spot.

You can cook your catch over the campfire even if you lack a full set of pots and pans. Tin foil wrapped around the fish will keep it from scorching. Even lacking foil you can set your fillets on a well-soaked cedar plank and use that as a cooking utensil. Innovations in techniques like this come about by accident; necessity being the mother of invention. Vince Gorman, the Manifold Gourmet, had developed a wide range of delicious recipes for salmon and other dishes - all cooked on the manifold of his beautifully restored 1950s milk truck. His salmon recipes included cooking mileage and speed rather than oven temperature and time. 

There are many varied recipes for Pacific salmon. Sockeye, chinook, and coho are the best table salmon. These species have high oil content and are very flavourful. They are tasty enough to be accompanied by almost any kind of sauce and spicing. The oiliness of fresh prime salmon makes it great for grilling or broiling. Nothing can be simpler or more satisfying than a salmon steak, grilled in a pan or on the barbeque. For grilling allow about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

Of course the more elaborate and often most surprising seafood recipes are usually the result of abundant ingredients. Nothing stirs creativity in the kitchen like having a limit catch of huge chinook salmon stored in your freezer. After the initial barbeques, broils, steaks fries, etc. new ways of presenting the fish are required for the sake of variety.

Below are the following recipes (scroll down):

  1. Peruvian Tacu Tacu
  2. Basic Broiled Salmon
  3. Basic Campfire Trout
  4. Spring Salmon and Spinach Quiche
  5. Anchovy Pasta
  6. Pasta with Salmon Cream Sauce
  7. Scott's Seafood Quesadillas
  8. Richard Heckert's Cilantro Spring Salmon
  9. Salmon Cakes
  10. Salmon Pasta Alfredo
  11. Salmon Quiche
  12. Smoked Salmon in Sour Dough
  13. Bacon and Gherkin Salmon
  14. Baked Lingcod in Lemon Garlic Sauce
  15. Salmon with Shrimp Sauce
  16. Baked Halibut Fillets
  17. Pasta with Smoked Salmon in Dill Dressing
  18. Leftover Salmon Pie
  19. Lingcod Balls
  20. Ralph Shaw's Gourmet Cooking with Gourmet Food from Vancouver Island Waters

Scroll Down to try some of these more elaborate recipes for preparing your catch.



PERUVIAN TACU TACU Recipe (rudimentary Spanish required)

The waitress at Tienda del Pata in Pimentel, Peru drew this pictogram in my notepad. Pimentel has a thriving anchovy fishery, and that is the basis for the Tacu Tacu along that section of the coast. I tried my hand at the recipe back in Nanaimo.

For more about this Peruvian dish click here to read Andrew Kolasinski's article in the online travel magazine, en peru





This a a great and simple way to deal with your salmon. This is quick and trouble-free, and a good way to feed a large group of people if you've got a big enough salmon.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut salmon (using any species of wild Pacific salmon) into 3/4 inch steaks

Brush with butter or olive oil

Place on rack of preheated oven, 6 inches from heat. Broil 5 minutes, turn, apply more butter or oil. Salmon is done if central bone removes easily.



Gut and clean a cutthroat or rainbow trout, leave the head on. Ideally you have a 2+ pound freshly caught fish. 
Sprinkle salt and pepper into the cavity. Melt and coat the bottom of a large cast-iron fry pan, or metal 
cooking tray. Place, with trout onto grill over a low fire, glowing coalbed, or camp stove at low to medium 
flame. Cook about 4 minutes per side or until it flakes.




This simple recipe is a great way to use up your freezer aged salmon, especially easy if you have pre-broiled and stored your fish. 


bullet750 mL (3.2 cups) homogenized milk
bullet3 eggs
bullet9 ounces (255 grams) cooked, de-bones, flaked chinook salmon
bullet150 grams (5.3 oz.) frozen, chopped spinach
bullet180 (5.4 oz) grams Swiss Gruyere cheese
bullet1 small white onion
bulletpie shell


Sauté onion. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Boil the frozen spinach as per package directions. Drain well (stand on a strainer and press out water. Dice the cheese in 1/2 inches pieces. Flake the salmon. Mix and spread salmon, cheese, onion, and spinach in pie shell. Mix eggs, milk, dill, and basil. Pour into pie shell onto  the other ingredients. Bake for 42 minutes. Let cool before serving.



This is the quickest and the tastiest pasta dish you can make.

bulletOlive oil (enough to thickly cover the pan)
bulletAnchovies, 1 can
bulletGarlic, 6 cloves
bullet2 red peppers
bulletParmesan cheese

Heat olive oil on medium stove. Mince garlic cloves, chop the hot peppers, add to the pan and let brown for 2 minutes. Add the canned anchovies along with the oil from the can. Let sizzle for 2 minutes. Add a ladle of the boiling pasta water and let simmer for 2 minutes. Take pan off heat. Drain the pasta (No not rinse the pasta - the starch is needed for the sauce). Chop the parsley. Grate 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Add the cheese, parsley and man mixture to the pasta, and stir. Serve in bowls. Add more parmesan and fresh black pepper to taste.


This is great recipe to use on salmon that has been in the freezer for a while. Even that was salmon caught last summer and is beginning to dry out can put to good use in this meal.


bullet12 ounces linguine, spaghetti, or other thin pasta
bullet1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
bullet1-cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
bullet1 cup whipping cream
bullet2 cups flaked, cooked salmon (12 ounces)
bullet1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
bulletSalt, white pepper, nutmeg
bullet1/4-cup fresh minced parsley (Italian flat variety)

Cooking Instructions

Cook pasta for 12 minutes.

While the pasta is boiling, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the peas and sauté until tender (about 3 minutes for frozen peas and 1 minute for thawed).

Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and the cream, then reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally until the butter melts.

Add the salmon, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, and salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Simmer until the cheese melts and the salmon is heated thoroughly (about 2 minutes should do it). Do not allow to boil.

Drain the pasta and place it in a heated bowl. Pour the sauce over the pasta, add the parsley, and gently toss and stir until it is well mixed. Serve immediately, and serve the remaining 1/2-cup of Parmesan cheese at the table.



Take your cooked seafood of choice, (prawns and shrimp are great for this dish). Purchase some flat bread, any variety. There are many options. Pesto garlic flat bread is a great choice for this dish.

Place the flat bread in a pan on medium to high heat until its slightly crisp on each side. If you are using non-stick cooking ware then there is no need for cooking oil. If not, use a small amount of vegetable oil to crisp up the flat bread. Sprinkle some grated cheddar and or mozza (or your favorite cheese) on the flat bread while still in the pan. Allow the cheese to start melting.

Add your seafood along with some diced green pepper, onions and tomatoes, and then add more cheese. Place a lid over top to allow the ingredients to heat up and the recently added cheese to melt for about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove the lid, gently fold the flat bread in half and serve with traditional salsa and sour cream. Depending on your seafood of choice, use seafood sauce, tartar or lemon. Rice or salad makes a great side dish. Salsa is a great substitute for salad dressing.              Bon appetite                        


Note: use as much or as little of the ingredients as needed, depending on the number of servings desired and the thickness of the quesadilla.


flat bread


seafood of choice(pre-cooked)


cooking oil (opptional)


grated cheddar and mozza cheese


peppers, tomatoes and onions (diced)


salsa and sour cream,


seafood or tar tar sauce (optional)


real lemon juice (optional)




A self-described "fishing-bum", Richard is a frequent contributor of insightful articles to Island Angler magazine. Here is Richard's favorite way to prepare this beautiful young salmon.
Cilantro Paste Recipe
• 1 whole salmon (5-8 lb.)
• 1 bunch of chopped cilantro
• 1 tbsp chopped fresh or dried mint leaves
• 1 tbsp cumin seed
• 1 tsp salt
• 3 large cloves of garlic
• 1 can chopped green chilies (Mexican section of your grocer)
• 1 tbsp minced ginger
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 tbsp lemon juice

Scale, de-head and gut your fish. Cut deep diagonal slashes into each side of the skin approximately 1” apart and parallel with the rib bones. Place all of the above (except salmon of course) in a blender and blend into a paste. Coat the fish in cilantro paste making sure to get lots into the slits and fish cavity. Wrap tightly in double foil and refrigerate for 1 to 8 hours. (The longer the better.) Place salmon on heated BBQ and cook for 30 to 50 minutes depending on size of salmon. (40-45 minutes is perfect for your average sized 22-25 inch salmon)
Enjoy and savor the flavor.



This recipe does wonders to add diversity to the range of meals available from a big chinook salmon. After you've tried barbeques, broils, etc. salmon cakes taste like a whole different kettle of fish. This even works on stale or freezer-burned salmon.

bullet1 can or cup of flaked salmon
bulletsalt, pepper to taste
bullet1 egg
bullet1-1/2 cups of mashed potatoes
bullet2 tblsp of grated or minced onion
bullet2 tbsp of minced parsley
bulletPanko crumbs (Japanese style bread crumbs)
bulletPeanut oil
Mix potatoes, salmon, onion, egg, salt, and pepper to taste, in a big bowl.  Form patties the size of your palm.  Roll in a plate of panko crumbs.  Fry in hot peanut oil, 2 minutes one side, flip, and fry one more minute.  Make sure oil is hot, but not smoking in order to get a crispy crust.  Serve with fresh lemon slices, tartar sauce, or hot sauce.  (Makes at least 8 patties).




bullet12 oz. spaghetti, spaghetti, or linguini
bullet1/4 cup butter
bullet1 cup peas (fresh, canned, or frozen)
bullet1 cup whipped cream
bullet2 cups flaked cooked salmon (any species of wild Pacific salmon)
bullet1 cup grated parmesan cheese
bulletSalt, white pepper, nutmeg
bullet1/4 cup fresh minced parsley

Cook pasta 10-12 minutes. Melt 1 tablespoons butter in pan over medium heat. Add peas and sauté about 3 minutes for fresh and 1 minute for frozen or canned. Add remaining butter and cream. Reduce heat, stir unti butter melts. Add salmon, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Simmer until cheese melts - about 2 minutes. Do not allow to boil or overheat.

Drain pasta and put into heated bowls. Pour on sauce, mix. Serve with remaining parmesan.



from St. Jean's Cannery, 242 Southside Dr., Nanaimo, phone 1-250-754-2185


bullet1 Cup whole wheat flour 
bullet16 -1/2 oz. can St. Jean's canned smoked salmon
bullet2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese 3 eggs, beaten
bullet1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds 
bullet 1/2 cup sour cream
bullet1/2 cup yogurt
bullet1/4 cup mayonnaise
bulletpinch salt 
bullet 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
bullet1/4 tsp. paprika 
bullet 1/4 tbsp. chopped green onion
bullet6 tbsp. salad oil 
bullet 1/4 tsp. dill weed
bullet3 drops hot pepper sauce (optional)

CRUST: Combine dry ingredients, add oil, stir well and press into a 9" pie plate. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes, then cool.

FILLING: Drain and flake salmon, reserving liquid; blend eggs, sour cream, yogurt, mayonnaise and salmon liquid; then fold in salmon, cheese, onions, dill and hot pepper sauce. Spoon into shell and bake at 325 F for about 40 min. or until firm.



from St. Jean's Cannery, 242 Southside Dr., Nanaimo, phone 1-250-754-2185
bullet500 g sour cream
bullet1 5-1/2 oz. can St. Jean's canned smoked salmon
bullet500 g cream cheese
bullet300 g aged cheddar cheese
bullet1 medium loaf of sour dough bread

Shred cheddar; add sour cream, St. Jean's smoked salmon and cream cheese; mix. Hollow out a loaf of round sour dough bread. Fill with mixture. Cover with top of loaf and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.



bullet4 - 6 sliced bacon
bullet4 - 6 pieces of salmon fillet (about 6 oz. each)
bullet2 sweet gherkins (small pickled cucumbers) diced

Fry bacon until crisp In heavy skillet. Drain fat. keep fat in skillet. Put fillets, skin down, into skillet, Fry until skin is crisp, about 2 minutes. Turn and fry until browned. Place salmon fillets on platter. Crumble bacon over tops and sprinkle with gherkins - serve.



bullet2 lb lingcod fillets
bulletolive oil
bulletsalt and pepper


bulletbutter (2 tablespoons)
bulletsalt and white pepper
bulletmarjoram leaves, safron 
bulletchopped garlic
bulletwhite wine

Pre-heat oven to 350. Put fillets in a foil line pan. Rub olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes - remove.

Reduce white wine, milk with chopped garlic, and herbs. Make a roux with butter and flour in a medium size sauce pan. Pour reduced liquids slowly stirring into the roux. Add lemon and seasonings, and add 1 tablespoon (at a time) butter to thicken. Let thicken over low heat. Pour sauce over baked fillets. Serve.




Use a whole salmon of your choice. Remove head fins and tail. Wash thoroughly and dry with paper towel. It doesn’t matter if a few scales remain on fish.

Cover all over inside and outside and cut edges of fish with mayonnaise.

Fill cavity with fresh herbs parsley, chives a little basil and dry dill weed and a little fresh lemon juice.

Wrap in 2 sheets of foil; bake in oven or put on barbecue (My 3 pounder took almost an hour in the oven at 350 degrees). The cooking time depends on the size.

Now for the sauce: Start with a basic white sauce; melt 3 tablespoons of butter in saucepan, add 2 tablespoons flour, and mix these ingredients on medium heat. Add 2 cups of milk or cream to the flour mixture (best to scald the milk before adding). Stir until mixture thickens then add chopped parsley shrimp, salt pepper a bit of white wine or lemon juice and capers. This sauce is served with the salmon.

I suggest rice, asparagus or broccoli, and a green salad to go with above to round out your meal.



  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 (F).
  2. Line a baking pan with bakers parchment paper.
  3. Lay halibut fillets (4) onto parchment.
  4. Slice 1/2 onion very finely.
  5. Scatter onions onto fillets.
  6. Scatter Panko breadcrumbs over top.
  7. Pour sauce (below) over top, and sprinkle with paprika.


bulletMelt 2 tablespoons of butter.
bulletAdd the juice of 1-1/2 lemons.
bulletAdd 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
bulletAdd salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees.
  2. Lower oven to 350 degree, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with Brown rice with fresh tomatoes and basil vinaigrette.




From E-Fish-Ent-Fish Company

 Less than a pound of smoked salmon can feed 6 hungry people with help from pasta. You will find that dill, sour cream and onions work exceptionally well with the other ingredients in this salad.


1/3 cup Vegetable Oil


2 tbsp. freshly squeezed Lemon Juice


Salt and freshly ground Pepper


1 cup ripe Cherry Tomatoes, halved


5 oz. Smoked Salmon, cut into small pieces


1 cup Sour Cream


1-1/2 tsp. minced Shallots


1/3 cup chopped fresh Dill


Gemelli (twisted twin rods) or other shaped pasta


1/4 cup minced fresh Chives


1 small Red Onion cut in thin rings (separated)


fresh Dill Springs

Combine oil, lemon juice and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk well and set aside. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again. Place in large bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to keep pasta from sticking together. Add tomatoes, chives and reserved dressing to pasta, mix gently. Arrange salmon, onion rings and sour cream on top of pasta. Garnish will dill springs.

Makes 6 servings, about 385 calories each.



Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Flake and de-bone two cups of cooked salmon.

Peel, cut into quarters 6 potatoes Add salt and boil for 20 minutes. Mash cooked potatoes with a tablespoon of butter; add a third cup of cheddar cheese.

Boil half a cup of frozen green peas. While peas are boiling, peel and slice a whole onion. Peel and mince three garlic cloves. Peel and slice four small whole carrots. Chop two celery stocks. Mince half a cup of parsley.

Melt a tablespoon of butter and add to a tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-proof dish on stovetop. Add onion and garlic. Cook at medium heat, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery, peas, salmon, and parsley. Cook on low heat until softened.

In saucepan melt a tablespoon of butter, add a tablespoon of chicken boullion paste, or crumble a boullion cube, add a cup of milk and a cup of water. Boil slowly. Put a tablespoon of cornstarch or flour into a measuring cup, add tablespoon of cold water to make a paste. Place resulting paste into saucepan and stir sauce until thickened. Also, add 1 tablespoon of curry powder (or to taste), 1 tsp. Of cumin, and coriander powder, a tsp. Salt, a pinch of dried pepper flakes, and a grating of black pepper to your sauce as it thickens.

Add sauce to fish, and vegetables, and stir. Top with mashed potatoes. Grate more chedder cheese on top of potatoes. Put in oven back for 35 minutes.




Here's a Vancouver Island variation of an old Scandinavian classic. These ling cod balls are a nice addition to your party hors d'oeuvre platter. The ingredients are West Coast (replacing North Atlantic cod), and so are the seasonings, with a unique Pacific-Rim / Asian influence.

bullet2 cups of cooked flaked lingcod
bullet1 cup of mashed potatoes
bullet1 egg beaten
bullet2 tblsp of grated or minced onion
bullet2 tblsp of minced parsley
bulletPanko crumbs (Japanese style bread crumbs)
bulletpeanut oil
bulletcurry powder

Mix potatoes, lingcod, onion, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste, in a big bowl. Form 1-1/4 inch balls in your palm. Roll in beaten egg. Roll in a plate of Panko crumbs. Fry in hot peanut oil, 2 minutes, turning frequently to ensure even browning. Make sure oil is hot, but not smoking in order to get a crispy crust.

Serve skewered onto toothpicks, with dip of chutney and sour cream, tartar sauce, or hot sauce. (Makes at least 40 balls).



By Ralph Shaw

By virtue of marrying a wonderful woman who is a very competent outdoors person in her own right, and thanks to the food we bring into the house from the outdoors and from her garden, we eat like royalty - or should I say like the very rich would like to eat. Elaine is a gourmet cook and what she does with salmon, halibut, rockfish, Yelloweye rockfish, lingcod, trout, flounder, oysters, clams, prawns (to name a few delicious varieties of the food we eat from the fresh and marine waters of our Vancouver Island) would make the material for an enviable cook book.

For lunch one day this week we had Dungeness Crab Salad, garnished with Romain lettuce and asparagus tips from her garden, and then enhanced with vegetables from local stores. It was lightly bathed with suitable salad dressing and served with a light white wine. This delicious lunch was what you dream about in a seafood restaurant, the catch is that it is pretty common fare in our home.

Dinner that evening was servings of delicate white fillets of fresh lingcod caught the day before. Added to the lingcod were new baby potatoes that she had squirreled from her maturing potato plants, asparagus greens and carrots for colour along with a fresh garden salad. To finish the meal we had a dessert of fresh rhubarb crisp and low fat ice cream. White wine was a part of the meal.

We celebrated Saturday night with a pair of fresh trout taken from local waters. Elaine covered them with a special mixture of flour and hot herbs that gave them a unique zing when gently fried in oil over a controlled burner. Added to these were the usual fresh vegetables and herbs. The flesh of the trout was a delicate pale pink and they had the special flavour we associate with interior trout. There was enough left over to make trout sandwiches for lunch the following day.

Not to be outdone by the fishier side of the menu, one day last week I went down to the shore at a low tide and gathered some fresh oysters. The oysters were dipped in an egg and crumb bath, which gives them that special flavour we associate with this delicious seafood. As we were having company that night, for hors d’oeuvres we had smoked salmon pâte on light brown crackers.

To balance the bounty of the week Elaine made a seafood penne dish of pasta generously enriched with large prawns caught in our local waters. The white sauce and delicate white wine, also brown crusty buns make this one of our favourite dinners. For dessert she served rhubarb sauce, garnished with ice cream.

The meals described above are the results of taking seriously the opportunities afforded on Vancouver Island to enjoy a wonderful diet of food we can catch on the waters and raise in our own gardens. From what I understand there is a continuing immigration of people from mainland BC, from Alberta, Ontario, and other parts of Canada to the Island to take advantage of this quiet little paradise.

If you read this column and take the message seriously you will realize that as an outdoor person you too can live the life of the very rich, without actually reaching such vaulted status. All that is necessary is to learn to fish our local waters, which is frequently one of the reasons for moving here.

Is it more economical than actually going out and buying the fish and seafood? Frankly I think not. What it is certainly is that what you eat is as fresh as you can get. It can also become your major source of recreation, an activity that truly rests the soul and renews the spirit. Another thing about this type of recreation is that when you are successful you get the chance to share the proceeds of your day on the water with others who may not be as fortunate as you in selecting their choice of recreation.

To those who are new to the Island I invite you to take up fishing in this wonderful place. Never mind the stories of how good it used to be, this is about today and there are still many wonderful opportunities on the water.



Contact on-line   Write: Island Angler, 30 Acacia Avenue, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada V9R 3L4

Fishing at a Glance - Fishing Photo Gallery - Fishing Articles On-Line - Fishing Reports UPDATED !! - Subscribe NOW  - BOOK STORE: Fishing Guides  - Advertising Rates & Press and Editorial Schedule  - Win FREE Tackle Prizes  - Writers' Guidelines NEW !! - Fishing LINKS

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Embroidered Fishing Hat

Striking full-colour logo on elegant taupe fabric

EXTRA: Canadian Maple Leaf design on side


Adjustable one-size fits all

LIMITED EDITION - A Unique Gift  $31.00