Lobster

Lobster By: Deborah Reid Nephropidae Homaris (North Atlantic) American lobster Lobsters were once so prolific on the East Coast of North America they were considered lowly food for the poor. Fast forward a couple of hundred years, and now they enjoy luxury status. Live they run 25 to 50 cm (10–20 in.) in length, and weigh 450 g to 1.4 kg (1 to 3 lbs.). Their colour varies from olive to bluish-green with orange patches and black spots, and the two claws differ in size—the crusher is big and powerful, and the pincer is smaller. When buying live, allow 450 to 700 g (1 to 1-1/2 lbs.) per person and use immediately, or store in an open container in the refrigerator under a moist layer of damp paper towel or newspaper, ideally for no more than 24 hours. Before cooking, carefully remove the rubber bands around the claws, so the rubber flavour doesn’t permeate the delicate meat. When cooked the lobster shell turns a bright reddish-orange, and the shucked red and white meat is tender,...

Hokkaido Scallops

HOKKAIDO SCALLOPS By: Deborah Reid Patinopecten yessoensis Giant Ezo scallop, Yesso scallop, Japanese scallop Considered the best in the world, these premium scallops are prized for their fresh, sweet ocean flavour and firm yet meltingly tender texture. Hand-graded to ensure consistency in size, they are classified as a dry scallop and have a natural 83% moisture content. (Poorer quality scallops are injected or plumped with preservatives or water to get a better price.) Their shells are mottled greyish-beige with pink hues, and must be a minimum 82 mm (3 in.) or more in length to harvest. We sell them by count on our counter, indicating the number of scallops per pound. Master sushi chefs worldwide prefer U10s (under 10 per pound), and their sweet, succulent flavour and creamy texture is ideal for sashimi or ceviche. In Japan they are traditionally eaten in curried soups or cooked on the half shell over a charcoal brazier. Skewer and grill over charcoal, and lightly baste with...

Ruisseau Oysters

Ruisseau Oysters By: Deborah Reid Crassostrea virginica Eastern oyster, Wellfleet oyster, Atlantic oyster, Virginia oyster, American oyster A highly prized oyster in Canada and considered one of the finest produced on the East Coast. The meat is plump, has a medium-firm texture, and ivory colour, with an excellent briny flavour with mineral notes, and a sweet, grassy finish. The shell is thick, flat, and varies in shape from round to oval with concentric rings, averaging 6 to 7.5 cm (2.5 to 3 in.). The colour is dirty white to grey while the interior is bright white with a deep purple or red-brown muscle scar. Available year round, but particularly delicious in the cold months. It’s the perfect oyster for serving on the half shell with a classic sauce mignonette, lemon wedges, or grated fresh horseradish. They’re just as delicious cooked on the grill and topped with compound herb butter, baked for Oysters Rockefeller, or shucked, breaded and deep fried with sauce...

Ōra King Salmon

Ōra King Salmon By: Deborah Reid Ora King salmon is thought to be the wagyu of the sea because of its high-fat content and the marbled fat lines that contrast beautifully with the bright orange flesh. It’s hard to believe this is a farmed fish, but it’s raised and processed to meet exceptional culinary standards. Whole on the counter it averages 4 to 7 kg (9 to 15 lbs.) and has bright silver-blue skin with black spots above the lateral line, and a rounder midsection than the somewhat flattened Atlantic salmon. The flesh is moderately firm with large, delicate flakes and the naturally high oil content gives it a silky, buttery texture and rich, sweet, umami flavour. It also keeps the salmon moist, greatly reducing the risk of over-cooking. It’s a versatile fish ideal for sashimi and sushi, cured for gravlax, or cold smoked. Bake it with asparagus and ripe cherry tomatoes, or pan-fry in butter with garlic and lemon. The Omega-3 content is the highest of any salmon, and it’s also high...

Flying Squid

Flying Squid By: Deborah Reid Ommastrephes bartramii Neon flying squid, Red flying squid, Akaika If fish soup or seafood salad is on the menu, squid should be on your shopping list. On our counter, whole squid is purple with a glossy sheen and has two fins on the upper body, large eyes, ten arms and two feeding tentacles. The tubular body alone measures 15 to 23 cm (6 to 9 in.) and weighs 115 to 170 g (4 to 6 oz.). Once cleaned, the body can be left whole for stuffing, baking or braising, sliced into rings for deep-frying, or cut into strips for stir-frying. Squid needs to cook either very quick at high temperature or very slow at low heat. When cooked, the white flesh has an appealing firm yet tender texture and sweet sea flavour. We like it grilled over charcoal yakitori-style or finished with chilli oil and herbs. Toss with pasta or serve raw as sushi. It’s low in calories, high in protein, and a good source of potassium, magnesium and B vitamins. Flying squid are found in ocean...

Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon By: Deborah Reid Salmo salar Bay salmon, Black salmon, Caplin-Scull salmon, Sebago salmon, Silver salmon, Fiddler, Outside salmon In the fall, when Pacific salmon is no longer available, it’s replaced through to spring by organic Cape d’Or Atlantic salmon. Whole on our counter they have a silver-blue sheen with black spots on the upper body, and average 60 to 76 cm (24 to 30 in.) in length and weigh 3.5 to 5.5 kg (8 to 12 lbs.). The thick, pinkish-orange fillets have a natural fatty sheen and a buttery finish when cooked. We love the sweet flavour and succulent large medium-firm flakes. Fill the belly with bread or grain-based stuffing and roast whole for special occasion dinners. Cure a fillet for gravlax, or hot smoke it on a barbecue for the holidays. Poach it in aromatic court bouillon and serve with rich lemony hollandaise or basil mayonnaise. Pan-fry it until golden, basting it with butter and fresh thyme or rosemary. It’s just as delicious eaten raw as tartare...

ROCKFISH

ROCKFISH Salish Sea & Haida Gwaii, B.C. Canada B.C. Rockfish is the closest thing to snapper in flavour and texture that is fished responsibly in Canada. Cooking Methods: Grilling, roasting, pan roasting, marinated kebabs, in soups. Information: Our B.C. rockfish is a fairly new addition to the offerings at Hooked. Previously considered a by-catch species, rockfish is now a staple at the shop due to its abundance in the waters off the B.C. coast, as well as the great fishing methods employed to harvest it. We work with a small group of fishers in the Salish Sea who fish rockfish using traps. This ensures very limited to no bycatch and zero habitat damage. Rockfish from our Haida Gwaii fishers is bottom longline caught and is part of the same fishery as our halibut, ling cod and...

Nova Scotia Lobster

NOVA SCOTIA LOBSTER Nova Scotia, Canada East Coast Canadian Lobster is a world treasure. Sweet, salty, meaty and fun to eat. Cooking Methods: Steeping, poaching, grilling whole Information: The Nova Scotia lobster fishery operates year round, moving to different fishing zones every 6 weeks to 3 months. The lobster stocks are abundant, mainly due to the poor state of the cod fishery in Atlantic Canada. Lobster are trap caught: fishers go out in the wee hours, bait their traps and drop them. Later that same day, the traps get hauled into the boat, lobsters get sized and are then banded (elastics applied to the claws) or thrown back if over or under sized. There is little to no bycatch in the lobster fishery. Most lobster is sold through one big processor and then held in tanks for months until sold. We at Hooked prefer to buy directly from a lobster fisherman. Our lobster arrives fresh and live Fridays, having only been held a day or two in tank. It’s worth it: the fisher gets...

Selva Shrimp

SELVA TIGER SHRIMP Mekong Delta, Vietnam Firm, sweet and clean are the defining characteristics of this shrimp success story. Cooking Methods: Pan frying, poaching, grilling, brining, Information: Tiger shrimp at Hooked? You bet. This is one of the greatest success stories in modern aquaculture. These shrimp live and grow naturally in the mangroves of southern Vietnam. Mangroves are a natural nursery and breeding grounds for many species. While the destruction of the vital mangroves has been rampant, the Selva company has a reforestation plan in place. The shrimp are not fed at all, and so are free of anything not naturally occurring in the ocean. Once the shrimp have reached a mature size, they naturally head out to sea. At this point, the ‘farmers’ harvest the shrimp using hand nets between the mangroves and the open ocean. The shrimp are iced, cleaned and frozen within 24 hours of harvest. Both farmers and processing plant workers are paid a fair wage for their...

Cape D’Or Atlantic Salmon

Cape D'Or Atlantic Salmon Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada We have waited over a decade to be able to eat healthy Atlantic salmon and are thrilled that it is finally here! Mild and rich with a high fat content, suitable to most cooking methods and available through the winter and spring, when our wild Pacific salmon is not in season. Cooking Methods: Pan frying, slow baking, poaching, grilling, en papillotte, pan roasting, high heat roasting, brining, hot and cold smoking Information: Atlantic farmed salmon has been a dirty word since we opened Hooked. So much of it is being farmed terribly to the harm of our wild waters and to those who eat it. We finally have a great source for this much desired large fish: mainland Nova Scotia. The salmon are farmed on land, beside the ocean, in tanks that are filled with water piped directly from the depths of the ocean. The fish are raised in low population densities, eliminating the need for antibiotics or growth hormones. They are fed an organic...