Scrumptious Seafood: 2010 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown Champion

Chef Ben Berwick from Hapa Izakaya, Photo: Glenn Baglo, PNG, Vancouver Sun

Last week I posted about the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown event, so I thought sharing the winning recipe from the previous year’s competition would be appropriate. Hapa Izakaya’s chef Ben Berwick was deemed the 2010 champion, for his unique twist on seafood chowder. Below is his recipe modified for the home cook. Look out for the winning recipe from this year’s competition on our blog next week!

Halibut Dashi Chowder:


  • Stock
  • ½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • ½ carrot, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
  • 1 piece konbu, about 3-4 inches long
  • 1 cup bonito flakes, lightly packed
  • ¼ teaspoon (.5 mL) peppercorns
  • 1 sprig parsley
  • ½ bay leaf
  • 4 cups (1 L) water

Cream sauce

  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) butter
  • 5 tablespoons (75 mL) allpurpose flour


  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter
  • ½ small onion, diced to about
  • ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 carrot, cut in ¼-inch (.5 cm) dice
  • 1 medium new potato, cut in ½-inch (1 cm) dice
  • ½ pound (227 g) firm white fish such as halibut or cod, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • ½ pound (227 g) sea scallops, cut in 1-inch pieces if needed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) sake
  • 2 teaspoons (30 mL) light soy sauce
  • ½ cup (125 mL) whipping cream
  • ¾ teaspoon (1.5 mL) salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.5 mL) shichimi powder
  • 4 slices bacon, diced, fried until crisp and drained
  • Thinly sliced green onions or chopped parsley
  • croutons


Stock: Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil in a large pot. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, drain and discard the solids.

Cream sauce: Melt the butter, add the flour and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Gradually whisk in the stock, stirring quickly and cook over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Set aside.

Fish: Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the vegetables and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add the seafood and continue to sauté, stirring gently for 2 minutes.

Add the sake, cover and continue to cook over moderate heat until the fish is almost cooked and the vegetables are soft, another 4-5 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water if it is too dry and sticks. Add the seafood to the sauce mix, stir in the soy sauce, whipping cream, shichimi powder, salt.

Heat until hot, taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper (preferably white pepper), if needed.

Garnish the soup with the reserved bacon, green onions/ parsley, and your favourite croutons.

Posted by websitedev
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