Douglas & McIntyre
Blue Water Cafe Seafood Cookbook

Book details:

May 2009
ISBN 978-1-77162-108-3
10 1/4" x 8 3/4"
208 pages
120 colour photographs
Cooking / Food and Wine
$45.00 CAD


Douglas & McIntyre

Co-published with Toptable Restaurants & Bars Group

Blue Water Cafe Seafood Cookbook

Excerpt / Additional Content

Spot Prawns with Samphire and Miso-Yuzu Sauce

Serves 4

  • 16 fresh jumbo spot prawns
  • 7 oz samphire
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 3 T bsp shiro miso (white miso paste)
  • 1/4 cup beurre blanc (page 186)
  • 1 T bsp yuzu juice
  • 2 cups canola oil, for deep-frying
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 T bsp olive oil
  • Pinch of shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice seasoning) or cayenne pepper

This recipe calls for shiro miso, a light-coloured miso paste made with rice, available at Asian supermarkets. It also calls for samphire, also known as sea asparagus or Salicornia, which you can buy at specialty food stores. Look for vibrant green stalks without brown spots or limpness. If you cannot find sea asparagus, substitute pencilthin spears of green asparagus.

Remove the prawn tails from the heads and peel off the shell, leaving the tail segment attached to the meat. Set aside the heads. Arrange the prawn tails in a single layer, backs up, on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With a sharp paring knife, make an incision lengthwise along the back of each prawn, then open it and use the tip of your knife to remove and discard any entrails. Remove and discard the shell from the prawn heads, reserving the innards of the heads in a small bowl. Thoroughly wash the prawn bodies in cold water to remove any sand. Set aside to dry on a kitchen towel.

Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil on high heat. Wash samphire and, with a sharp knife, remove and discard the tough end of each sprig. Place samphire in the boiling water and cook for 15 seconds. Refresh immediately in the ice bath to keep its vibrant green colour.

To make the sauce, heat sake in a small pot on medium heat. Add the innards of the prawn heads and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in shiro miso, then transfer to a small food processor and purée. Strain this mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a pot, then add beurre blanc and yuzu juice. Season to taste.

Heat canola oil in a deep sauté pan on high heat until it reaches 350˚f (use a thermometer to test the temperature). In a small bowl, toss prawn bodies in cornstarch, shaking off any excess. Fry prawns for 30 seconds until they crisp and start to become golden. Using tongs, remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Season with salt.

To serve: Gently heat the sauce on medium-low heat. Add samphire and heat until warmed through, then divide the sauce among four warmed appetizer plates. Preheat the oven to 400˚f. Place prawn tails on a baking sheet, season with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for two to three minutes, until just about cooked. Arrange four prawn tails on top of each serving of samphire. Spoon sauce over the tails and arrange crispy prawn bodies randomly on the plate. Garnish with a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi (or cayenne).

Suggested wine: A lighter white wine with dried-fruit aroma, such as a British Columbia pinot auxerrois.

Sablefish Caramelized with Soy and Sake

Serves 4

Soy-sake marinade

  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp mirin

Orange-tamarind sauce

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small carrot, sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 jalapeño pepper, sliced
  • 1 -inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup concentrated orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • 4 cups chicken stock (page 184)
  • 8 kumquats, sliced and seeded
  • Zest of 1/4 orange, julienned, for garnish

Caramelized sablefish

  • 4 sablefish fillets, 6 oz each, skin on
  • 11/2 cups soy-sake marinade
  • 10 oz green beans
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups canola oil, for deep-frying
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced on a mandolin

Tamarind is a tart fruit that is used in chutneys and pickles, and is often ground to obtain a paste. It is available in many Asian food stores. This recipe also calls for mirin, a sweet cooking wine. Find it at an Asian supermarket.

Soy-sake marinade: In a small saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer until sugar is dissolved and alcohol has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow the mixture to cool, then refrigerate until well chilled.

Orange-tamarind sauce: In a large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, jalapeño and ginger and sweat for 5 to 10 minutes until fragrant. Add mustard seeds, peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, vinegar, orange juice, tamarind paste and chicken stock and cook until liquid has reduced by two-thirds, 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Add kumquats. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

Caramelized sablefish:

Combine sablefish and soy-sake marinade in a resealable plastic zip-top bag and refrigerate overnight. Heat a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the beans to a bowl and toss in butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat canola oil in a deep fryer or a deep pot to 300˚f. Mix flour and cayenne in a bowl. Toss shallot slices in this seasoned flour to dredge, then fry them in the oil until golden and crisp, about 30 seconds. Remove the shallot slices from the oil and allow to drain on paper towels.

Remove the sablefish fillets from the refrigerator and allow them to warm to room temperature. Turn the broiler on. Transfer the sablefish, skin-side down, to a cast-iron pan and place it on the lowest rack under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes until deeply caramelized. (The cooking time will depend upon the thickness of the fillets.)

To serve: Arrange a quarter of the green beans in the centre of each of four plates. Using a metal spatula, lift each fillet from its skin and place the fish on the beans. Sprinkle each dish with a quarter of the fried shallots and finish with a quarter of the orange-tamarind sauce and some orange zest.

Suggested wine: A pinot noir that shows good acid and fruit, such as one from Dundee Hills in Oregon.

Pink Swimming Scallops with Tomato-Lemon Compote

Serves 4

  • 28 fresh pink swimming scallops
  • 12 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp chopped capers
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp thyme leaves

Shuck scallops, keeping bottom shells and discarding top shells. Remove the beard and dirt sack from each scallop, but leave the scallop muscle and roe intact. Fill a pot with salted water, add scallops and allow to rinse for 5 minutes.

Fill a bowl with ice water. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil on high heat. Add tomatoes and blanch for 10 seconds, then plunge them into the ice bath. Peel and seed the tomatoes, then dice the flesh.

In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and lemon zest, then reduce the heat to low and cook until tomato water has evaporated, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, add capers, parsley and sugar, then season with salt and pepper.

Melt butter in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add bread crumbs and cook for 1 minute, or until golden brown. Add thyme leaves and mix well to combine.

Turn the broiler on. Place the scallop shells on a baking sheet, then onto each scallop shell, spoon 1 tsp of the tomato-lemon compote. Top with a scallop, then sprinkle the scallops with the bread crumb mixture. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until bread crumbs are golden and the scallops are cooked.

To serve: Divide the scallops evenly among four plates.

Suggested wine: This dish would be best with a crisp bubble; try something from the Okanagan.

Red Sea Urchin in a Cucumber Vichyssoise with Kusshi Oysters and Lemon Cream

Serves 4


  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 12 oz leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 2/3 cups chicken stock (page 184)
  • 3/4 cup table cream (18% milk fat)
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced

Lemon cream

  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp chopped tarragon leaves
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne

Sea urchin and oysters

  • 4 medium red sea urchins
  • 12 kusshi oysters, shucked
  • 1 Tbsp minced chives, for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp finely diced cucumber, for garnish
  • 4 to 8 sprigs watercress, for garnish

Vichyssoise is a creamy French-style soup made with puréed leeks, onions and potatoes and traditionally served cold. Red sea urchins are larger than the smaller and sweeter green urchins. Preparing the urchins for this dish can be a bit messy—don an apron and work over a baking sheet with a generous lip to catch all of the juices that run out.


In a medium pot, melt butter over medium-high heat and sweat leeks and onion with a good pinch of salt and several turns of pepper for about 5 minutes until tender but not browned. Add potatoes and chicken stock and simmer for 35 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Add cream, then transfer this soup to a food processor and purée while gradually adding the raw cucumber slices.

Strain the purée through a medium-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Season to taste, then refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Lemon cream: In a small bowl, combine cream, lemon zest, tarragon, lemon juice, cayenne and a pinch of salt.

Sea urchin and oysters: Place a small cutting board in the centre of a baking sheet. Place each sea urchin, mouth-side up, on the cutting board and crack it open with a heavy chef’s knife without smashing completely through the urchin. Alternatively, with sharp, pointy scissors, cut a 1-inch circle around the hole in each sea urchin. This is its mouth. Empty the liquid inside the shell onto the baking sheet, then strain it into a small bowl. With a teaspoon, carefully remove the roe from each sea urchin and wash in a bowl of cold salted water to remove any grit. Discard the shells.

To serve: Ladle three-quarters of a cup of the vichyssoise into four soup bowls, then garnish with the sea urchin roe and the oysters. Scoop a spoonful of lemon cream into the centre of each bowl and sprinkle with chives and cucumber.

Suggested wine: Complement the creaminess of this dish with a Roero Arneis from Piedmont.

Ahi Tuna Zuke (Marinated Ahi Tuna)

Serves 1

  • 4 oz ahi (bigeye) tuna loin, cleaned
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 4 -inch segment of daikon radish, peeled
  • 4 -inch segment of English cucumber, peeled
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 Tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp wasabi paste

This recipe calls for a special cutting technique known as katsuramuki, which allows you to produce long, thin sheets from cylindrical vegetables.

In a small glass dish, cover tuna with soy sauce and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Remove the tuna from the soy sauce and pat it dry.

As the tuna is marinating, cut a 6-inch sheet of daikon using the katsuramuki technique. To create a single sheet of daikon, insert a chef’s knife just below the skin of the radish. Move the knife up and down in large strokes just under the surface and along the length of the daikon segment while rotating the radish. Continue cutting as smoothly and continuously as possible, using your thumb to regulate the thickness of the sheet as you cut. You should end up with a translucent, thin sheet of daikon 4 inches wide and 6 inches long. Repeat with the cucumber.

Combine water and salt in a small bowl. Add the daikon and cucumber sheets and soak for 30 minutes, then pat them dry.

Lay the daikon on a clean work surface, with the 4-inch side towards you. Place tuna on the daikon, as close to the bottom edge as possible. Starting at the bottom edge, tightly roll tuna in the daikon. Lay the cucumber sheet on the work surface, with the 4-inch side towards you. Place the daikon-wrapped tuna along the bottom edge of the cucumber sheet. Tightly roll up.

To serve: Cut this roll into five pieces, arrange on a platter, dab with wasabi paste and serve.

Suggested wine: Stay with crisp sauvignon blancs from the Loire or perhaps Central Otago.