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Fresh Summer Produce

Mussels in a Kimchi Broth

This recipe is adapted from one given to me by Alex Vu at Ch’i Restaurant. If you can find Saltspring Island mussels, use them as they are much plumper and milder in flavour. Kombu are thick fronds of dried seaweed, kimchi is a Korean condiment made with pickled cabbage, garlic and hot pepper. Both of these ingredients can be found at most Asian grocery stores.


  • 1 litre of Water
  • 2 large pieces of Kombu
  • 2 cups of Kimchi
  • 2 pounds of mussels, rinsed and de-bearded
  • ¼ cup of white wine
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Place the Kombu and the litre of water into a large pot. Bring to a boil; then remove the Kombu. Add the Kimchi. Stir. Then add the mussels and cover the pot. When the mussels start to open, add the white wine and butter. Stir until the butter has melted and the mussels have fully opened. Remove from heat and serve in bowls. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened. Serves 4.

Salmon Tartare with Kimchi & Asian Pear Salsa
(amuse bouche 18 - 20 servings )

This is another recipe adapted from Ch’i Restaurant. This is a very attractive appetizer as you can serve it in Chinese soup spoons for individual servings. The original recipe calls for the salsa to be made with strawberries, but as they weren’t in season when I made the recipe, I substituted Asian pear with great results. Use sashimi grade salmon and tuna, which you can buy frozen and vacuum-packed in some seafood departments in grocery stores. Thaw just before you start the recipe and it will taste fresher than any fresh fish you can buy! Kimchi is available in the refrigerator section of most Asian grocery stores.

Chop up raw salmon or tuna, mix with salt, pepper, garlic and sesame oil. Drain the mixture and add lemon juice.

Stir the Asian pear and kimchi together.

Spoon the salmon or tuna mixture onto presentation spoon. Layer Asian pear salsa on top and garnish with the seaweed. Serve.

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