British Columbia·FORAGE & FEAST

B.C. spear fisher celebrates his Asian heritage with chinook salmon dumplings

Upon returning to B.C. waters after living in Hawaii, Andrew Chin, a spear fisher and freediver, tries his hand at salmon fishing just off the coast of Vancouver Island.

Check out the recipe for Andrew Chin's chinook salmon dumplings below

Andrew Chin with a chinook salmon. (Forage & Feast/CBC)

Forage & Feast is a series following B.C. diver, photographer and spear fisherman Andrew Chin as explores his home province, while reconnecting with his Asian heritage through food.


B.C. spear fisher Andrew Chin has been using the bounty of B.C.'s coastal waters to reconnect with his Asian heritage, and his latest adventure is something he had never tried before: salmon fishing.

Chin headed to the coastal waters off Vancouver Island where he tried his hand capturing a chinook salmon — the largest of the five species that live on the Pacific coast.

Spear fishing for salmon is illegal in B.C., so harvesting line-caught chinook was brand new territory for Chin.

"They grow the biggest and have the highest fat content, Chin said. 

"And fat is flavour."

Chin spent most of his adult years in Hawaii, but his hometown is Port Coquitlam. He moved back to B.C. mid-pandemic. 

Growing up in Canada as the child of immigrants, Chin says he was acutely aware of things that made him stand out. Food was one of those things.

"While food can bring people together, that wasn't always my experience."

Chin used to bring dumplings to school as a child, something he was embarrassed by. 

Making things like dumplings, Chin says, is reclaiming time lost "running away from my culture and background."

Salmon Dumplings 

A serving of chinook salmon dumplings. (Forage & Feast/CBC)

Ingredients

Dumplings

  • 500 g salmon fillet

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tsp ginger

  • 2 stalks green onion

  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce

  • 1 pack dumpling wrappers

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • ½ tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tsp Lao Gan Ma Chilli Crisp or chilli oil

Directions

  1. Finely mince salmon fillet with a knife or food processor. Add to a mixing bowl.

  2. Thinly slice green onions, mince garlic, and grate ginger. To the mixing bowl, add green onion, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Mix thoroughly. 

  3. Fill a small bowl with water. To fold dumplings, take a dumpling wrapper and spoon 1 tbsp of the filling into the centre of the wrapper. Using your finger, lightly wet the edges of the dumpling wrapper with water. Fold one side of the wrapper over to meet the other, lining up the edges, to form a half moon. Pleat along the round edge, or simply pinch and seal. Repeat until all the filling has been used up. Keep dumpling wrappers covered with a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out while folding.

  4. To steam, cut parchment paper to line the bottom of your steamer basket. Poke holes through the paper with a chopstick to allow steam to pass through. Line the basket with the prepared parchment paper. Arrange dumplings in a circle in the basket, and steam over boiling water for 5-7 minutes, or until cooked. 

  5. To make the dipping sauce, mince the garlic clove and mix with soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and Lao Gan Ma Chilli crisp until the sugar has dissolved.

  6. Serve dumplings with dipping sauce.

With files from North by Northwest

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