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When you’re out and about grocery shopping this week, don’t forget to choose Canadian.
That’s what the nation is being encouraged to do by the Choose Canadian Seafood Task Force, a program led by the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) and The Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) – members include small, medium and larger-sized companies along with Indigenous enterprises that harvest and process fish from Canada’s three oceans – which recently announced the launch of the new national awareness campaign aimed at encouraging consumers to make a conscious effort to purchase Canadian seafood more often.
Officials explain this campaign came about “in light of how the pandemic and geopolitical events are impacting global food supply chains with disruptions and rising food prices,” especially when you consider that only 30% of the seafood consumers purchase in Canada is actually Canadian.
“While 80% of Canadians eat fish, only 30% of seafood consumed in Canada is actually Canadian,” explained Timothy Kennedy, president & CEO, CAIA, (aquaculture.ca), in an interview with The Toronto SUN. “When you purchase live, fresh, shelf-stable, or frozen Canadian seafood, you’re supporting an industry that stretches from coast to coast to coast, touching small towns, remote Indigenous communities, and our biggest cities,” he added.
Canada offers a wide selection of seafood, including “lobster, shrimp, sole, trout, haddock, halibut, salmon, mussels, oysters and clams,” added Paul Lansbergen, president of the FCC (fisheriescouncil.ca) in a recent interview. Lansbergen says Canada’s seafood is secure, sustainable and affordable – a domestic food supply from Canada’s oceans.
It’s what the nation is known for: “Canadian seafood is smart, affordable, easy, healthy, and a delicious choice for any meal, any day of the week,” added Lansbergen.
The taskforce recently launched the Smarter Meals Out of the Blue awareness campaign, along with a new logo and a new website (ChooseSeafood.ca), which features helpful tips and family-friendly recipes. The campaign also inspires Canadians to shake up their everyday meal routines with unexpected ideas.
And enjoy the following recipes courtesy of the campaign:
Maple-Mustard Glazed Sheet Pan Salmon
It’s the ultimate “Great Canadian” sheet pan recipe, featuring ingredients from across the country. Plus this quick-prep recipe cooks in mere minutes. Serves 4.
4 (150 g) skinless Canadian salmon fillets
2 Tbsp. dark maple syrup
2 Tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
Salt and pepper
Finely chopped chives, green onions for garnish
Arrange salmon fillets on a lightly greased, foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, stir together maple syrup, mustard, and barbecue sauce until combined. Brush salmon with half of glaze. Bake in preheated 400°F oven, brushing with remaining glaze halfway through cooking, until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork; about 10 minutes. Broil on high heat 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm) from burner until browned; about 1 minute.
TIPS: Serve with roasted or air-fried Brussels sprouts or broccoli and aromatic jasmine or basmati rice. Dark maple syrup is richer in flavour, but any maple syrup or even honey will work for this delicious glaze.
Teriyaki Salmon Poke Bowls
This cross between salmon teriyaki and a delicious poke bowl is a restaurant-quality dish — but it only takes 20 minutes to make it at home. Serves 4.
4 (175 g) skinless Canadian salmon fillet portions
1/3 cup teriyaki glaze
2 cloves garlic, grated or pressed
1-1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup light or regular mayonnaise
2 tsp. sesame oil
6 cups reheated or freshly cooked rice
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
1 cup sliced cucumber
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, heated
1 green onion, thinly sliced
4 tsp. Sriracha
4 tsp. toasted black or white sesame seeds
Salt and pepper
Arrange salmon fillets on a lightly greased, foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, stir together teriyaki glaze, garlic, and ginger. Brush salmon with half of the glaze. Bake in preheated 400°F oven, brushing with remaining glaze halfway through cooking, until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork; about 10 minutes. Broil on high heat 2–3 inches (5–8 cm) from burner until browned; about 1 minute.
In a separate small bowl, mix mayo with sesame oil; set aside. Divide rice between 4 shallow bowls. Top with avocado, cucumber, edamame, and salmon. Top with mayo mixture, green onions, Sriracha (if using), and sesame seeds.
Tip: For a sushi bowl flavour, garnish with thin strips of nori.
Looking for a twist on your backyard burgers? Start by swapping beef for convenient frozen Canadian fish or shrimp patties and spruce them up with a quick pre-bagged slaw. Serves 4.
4 frozen Canadian fish burger patties
4 brioche burger buns, split
1 large lime
2 cups coleslaw mix
2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup light or regular mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. minced jalapeno
1 small clove garlic, grated or pressed
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Salt and pepper
Zest lime to make ½ tsp; cut in half and squeeze out juice to make 2 Tbsp. In a bowl, toss together coleslaw mix, oil, mustard, salt, pepper and lime juice until well mixed; let stand 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine mayo, jalapeno, garlic and cilantro.
On a pre-heated grill, cook burgers according to package directions, adding buns to grill to toast in the last 1 minute of cooking. Fill buns with fish burgers, mayo mixture and slaw.
Tip: You can add any other burger toppings you love, such as sliced dill pickles, lettuce, red onion, and tomato.
Weeknight Spaghetti with Lemon Pesto Scallop Skewers
An easy mixture of pesto, lemon, and garlic does double duty as a grilling mop for super-quick grilled scallop skewers and a delicious no-cook sauce for this spaghetti, spinach, and fresh tomato side dish. Serves 4.
1 pkg. (375 g) uncooked spaghetti
1 large lemon
1/2 cup basil or sundried tomato pesto
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 lb. (about 20) frozen jumbo Canadian sea scallops, thawed and patted dry
4 cups lightly packed baby spinach
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup pitted black olives (optional)
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Using a side burner or on a stove, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to pot.
Meanwhile, zest lemon to make 1/2 tsp; cut in half and squeeze out juice to make 3 Tbsp. In a small bowl, mix pesto with lemon zest, juice and garlic. Set 1/4 of mixture aside in a small bowl for scallops.
Skewer scallops onto 4 soaked wooden or metal skewers; brush both sides with reserved pesto mixture. Place on hot, greased grill; cook, turning once, until grill-marked, firm and opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Add remaining pesto mixture to pasta and enough of the pasta cooking liquid to coat pasta evenly. Add spinach, tomatoes and olives (if using); toss lightly. Serve scallops over spaghetti mixture.