Canada’s Culinary Bounty

Featured in the Vancouver Sun's Article by Anthony Gismondi July, 30, 2021

Cured Lois Lake Steelhead 

Today is Canada Day, and Sonora Resort is pleased to continue to celebrate the beautiful bounty British Columbia has to offer, especially through food. As part of terroirtalk’s One Dish campaign, our executive chef Justine Smith was excited to put together a recipe that celebrates her personal connection to the terroir in our province. Terroir is the concept of geographical regions, how food carriers with it a sense of place due to natural conditions and influences.

Lois Lake Steelhead is an Oceanwise choice and are responsibly and sustainably raised on the west coast of British Columbia. These fish are not limited to being silky and delicious but are rich with nutrients and fatty acids. Not only geographically significant to us, we are following our philosophy of using the whole product within this dish. You will enjoy the steelhead itself, its crispy skin and smoked roe and for the rhubarb we will use the juice, pulp and pickled pieces. Using each product several different and creative ways and not having any part go to waste of these foods we can source from our beautiful surroundings.

Terroir Symposium Canada Day Dish 

Cured Lois Lake Steelhead 

Rhubarb, smoked roe, leek ash, crème fraiche, crispy skin, summer herbs

Serves Four

Shopping List 

  • 1 Lois Lake Steelhead Filet
  • 1 Jar Trout Roe
  • 1 Large Leek
  • 100ml Crème Fraiche
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Pieces Large Rhubarb
  • 3 Pieces Small Pencil Rhubarb
  • 2 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 100ml White wine vinegar
  • Agar Agar
  • Kosher Salt
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Garden Garnish Greens 

Preparing the Steelhead

Source a fresh filet of steelhead from your local fish monger. Ensure scales are removed from the skin using a fish scaler or the back of a knife. Remove the skin from the whole filet; using a sharp knife, starting at the tail end make a small cut into the filet to just above the skin. Turn your knife to lay flat and gently and smoothly cut towards the collar end removing the skin. Save this for making steelhead skin chicharron.

Remove any pin bones and cut lengthwise down the center of the filet, separating the belly from the loin. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rhubarb cure.

Steelhead Skin Chicharron

Once the skin is removed from the filet, gently scrape as much flesh as possible off the skin using a spoon keeping it as whole as possible. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and place skin into the water for 2 minutes. Remove from the water and lay flat. Gently remove anything that is not skin itself with a spoon for a final time. Pat dry with kitchen towel, place onto a parchment lined pan and into the oven at 100°F for 1-2 hours until dry. When ready to use, fry in a small pot of oil at 375°F the skin will puff up like a chicharron, season with salt and break into smaller pieces to spread out over the dish.

Smoked Roe

  • 1 Jar Trout/ Steelhead Roe
  • 5g Kosher Salt
  • 100g Cold Water

Combine salt and water together and place roe into this solution for 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve and lay on a cheesecloth lined smoker tray. Prepare smoker on lowest setting, and smoke roe for 10 minutes on ice. Return to the cleaned jar and reserve for plating.

Leek Ash

  • 1 Large Leek

Pre-heat oven to 350°F Cut leek in half lengthwise and rinse to remove any dirt from the inside. Dry leeks and cut into 1inch pieces then place into the oven on a parchment lined tray. Cook leeks until they are black, this will give them a smoky anise flavour. Remove from oven and let cool, then grind in a spice grinder or small blender to make a powder. Place in small airtight container and reserve for plating.

Crème Fraiche

  • 100ml Crème Fraiche
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • In a small mixing bowl season crème fraiche with microplaned lemon zest, lemon juice and salt to taste. Place into a piping bag and reserve in the fridge.

Preparations of Rhubarb

Rhubarb Gel

  • 300ml fresh rhubarb juice (reserve pulp for cure)
  • 3.5g agar agar

Juice the large fresh rhubarb in a vegetable juicer, reserve the pulp for the cure. Take the rhubarb juice and place in a small pot then weigh out your agar agar. Bring juice to a simmer and sprinkle in the agar agar, whisk continuously until mixture has boiled for 10 seconds. Remove from heat, pour mixture into a shallow container and place into the fridge to set. Once gel has set firm, place into a blender (I find a magic bullet works well for small amounts like this at home!) Puree gel until smooth, you can add a small amount of juice to help blending if necessary but be cautious of making the gel too thin. Once smooth, place in a piping bag in the fridge and reserve for plating.

Rhubarb Cured Steelhead150ml Granulated Sugar

  • 300ml Kosher Salt 
  • 200ml Rhubarb Pulp From Juicing

Combine all ingredients together. Generously coat the belly and loin piece of steelhead with the cure and place into the fridge. After 10 minutes flip both pieces, let cure another 10 minutes then rinse just the belly piece and place onto a kitchen towel uncovered in the fridge to dry. Let the larger loin piece cure for 10 minutes further and then rinse and dry the same way. These can stay uncovered for up to 6 hours in the fridge to dry, then wrap in saran wrap until ready to serve. When ready to plate, using a sharp knife slice 3-4 slices of each piece for each plate.

Pickled Rhubarb

  • 3 pieces of thin pencil size rhubarb
  • Pickling Liquid
  • 100ml Rhubarb Juice
  • 150ml Water
  • 100ml White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme

Combine all ingredients for the pickling liquid and bring up to a boil, remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Cut rhubarb into small pieces, strain the pickling liquid and return to a boil, pour over rhubarb and let cool down at room temperature. You can use this right away or can prepare this in advance and keep in the fridge.


Dust the plate with leek ash and place down 6-8 pieces of cured steelhead. Pipe small dots of the crème fraiche and rhubarb gel on top of the fish as well as on the plate. Place small spoonfuls of smoked roe on the slices of fish. Arrange pieces of pickled rhubarb, steelhead chicharron and edible garden garnish greens on top. Enjoy!

Terroir is a global organization building international communities through gastrodiplomacy