Sisters Kiyo and Tomi Marsh were rolling around the stormy Bering Sea on Tomi’s 78-foot fishing boat, the F/V Savage, when the jokes began about “cooking in the ditch” – the trough of the wave.
Wild weather notwithstanding, the Marsh sisters and their friend Laura Cooper, went on to assemble quite a collection of recipes, stories and beautiful photographs gleaned from their adventures in the rough and tumble world of Alaska commercial fisheries. The result was “The Fishes and Dishes Cookbook,” a delightful volume of tasty recipes using Alaska’s wonderful wild seafood offerings, published by Seattle’s Epicenter Press.
The volume serves up, along with the recipes, the flavor of Alaska’s commercial fisheries, where these women have worked every job, from cook to captain.
Try the corn cakes with shrimp, avocado and tomato; salmon dumplings with coconut curry sauce; Thai clam chowder; halibut cheeks Picatta; linguine with mussels and cider, bacon and shallot cream sauce; and the crab, shiso, and avocado tempura salad.
There’s enough breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes, plus more for appetizers and libations, like a Salty Dog, to capture the hearts of seafarers and landlubbers alike, plus fishing basics for greenhorns, like how to head and gut a fish, or kill, clean and cook a crab, or debeard mussels. Another section explains how to pair wine with fish.
The adventurous cooks also offer a section of unusual ingredients included in their recipes, from Japanese rice vinegar and pink peppercorns to shiso (a member of the mint family) and togarashi a Japanese spice blend of red chili peppers with other ingredients.
Tomi Marsh, a veteran of 27 years in commercial fisheries, including crabbing in the Bering Sea, lives today in Ketchikan, Alaska, while her sister Kiyo – an avid cook, artist and world traveler - and friend Laura Cooper – a collage artist – reside in Seattle.
Check it out at www.fishesanddishes.com