Recently, Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hosted Ocean Wise’s media launch for Ocean Wise Month. In order to become Ocean Wise, four criteria have to be met. The seafood must be abundant and resilient, well-managed, limited by-catch and limited habitat damage. Three types of Ocean Wise seafood were featured. First, we tried Spot Prawns that Chef Rob Clark poached up right in front of us. We were invited to taste these without any accompaniments and could really taste the sweetness.
We also tried a Spot Prawn Escabeche with avocado and heart of palm salsa, served on a chip. Though not needed for flavour, the little bit of salsa gave the dish a nice crunch to balance the bounciness of the prawn.
There was also a Cornmeal Crusted Popcorn Spot Prawn with wasabi cocktail sauce. My favourite of all the versions, the batter was light and crisp and kept the prawn inside very moist and juicy.
From The Daily Catch, a fish monger on Commercial Drive, Dylan McCulloch and Ryan Johnson presented the salmon course. We tried a Candied Cold-Smoked Salmon with fried capers and preserved lemon mascarpone as well as a Salmon Tartare with cucumber, puffed rice and yuzu. The texture of the cold-smoked salmon was slightly chewy but I really enjoyed the tartare. The crunch from the cucumber and rice served to heighten the textural differences between the smoothness of the salmon.
Our last item was the Sawmill Bay oysters. Freshly shucked by Chef Darren Brown, these were perfect just on their own. Some people like to add horseradish, mignonette, or cocktail sauce to the oysters, but to me, a simple squirt of lemon is all it takes to make them enjoyable.
For the second oyster dish, we enjoyed some great Oyster Po’Boys. Deep fried oysters were stuffed inside a soft and tender brioche-like bun, and they were joined by some papaya slaw and a bit of yuzu-kosho aioli. These little sliders disappeared fast.
Be sure to support Ocean Wise initiatives year-round, and not just November! As a quick guide, Black Tiger Prawns, Ahi Tuna and Chilean Sea Bass are unsustainable while Pacific Halibut, Sablefish and Pacific Cod are sustainable, provided they are Bottom longline or handline caught. Remember, overfishing is the greatest threat our oceans face today.