Ned Bell, executive chef of the Four Seasons Vancouver, is on a mission to get Canadians to eat sustainable fish and seafood. Later this month, he will kick off an ambitious bicycle ride across Canada to publicize his initiative. Starting in St. John’s on July 1, and covering between 140 and 200 kilometres every day, he expects to arrive back in Vancouver on Sept. 11. There will be a series of events across the country to raise awareness for the plight of the oceans and accessibility to sustainable seafood.
I asked Ned, who is an old friend, to teach me the best way to cook spot prawns and it turned into a wonderful lesson on how to sear all food properly. Spot prawns are available both fresh and frozen right now, in the shell, as they are in season. Sustainable fish markets and some fish people at farmers’ markets such as Fisherfolk carry them. Here are his tips:
Always use a heavy pan such as cast iron. Heat it on a very high heat until it is just starting to smoke. Add your fat, let it heat and then add the seafood (or steaks for that matter). Slide the seafood into the pan to stop splashing. Nothing will stick. Sear well on each side and if very thick throw into a very hot oven (450 F) to finish it.
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