Fish the Dish

Fish the Dish is a playful and delicious series that follows Chef Spencer Watts as he cooks up his favorite seafood dishes in preparation for his cookbook all about fish. With a focus on beautiful, mouth-watering food and photography, Fish the Dish covers recipes for any occasion, using a wide assortment of ingredients, cooking techniques and themes.

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Episode Guide

Episode 1001 – Crusted/Coated

Fish has amazing texture on its own, but it’s even better with a crust or coating. Join chef and seafood expert Spencer Watts as he develops accessible, tasty fish recipes for his new sustainable seafood cookbook. Today he has fun in the kitchen with crispy crusts and coatings, with a focus on rich, meaty tuna and tangy, fresh oysters. First, he dresses up sustainable ahi tuna with an olive and rice cracker crust, and shows how to cook it to a perfect rare. Next, Spencer continues to show just how much tuna loves a crust by making black sesame and almond crusted ahi tuna with ginger miso dressing. Now it’s onto oysters, the little gems that live in cool, salty sea water. After a lesson in shucking, Spencer starts with one his favorite ways to eat oysters: baked motoyaki style with a beautiful coating. To finish, he packs a flavor punch with beer battered oysters and pickled jalapeno tartar sauce. It’s a kitchen party as Spencer’s friends try all his mouth-watering dishes!

Episode 1002 – Hidden

Chef Spencer Watts loves a good surprise so he is adding some of his favourite “hidden” seafood recipes to his cookbook.  Sea perch is that brilliant and beautiful red fish you see on display at the fish monger. Its delicate white meat is sweet and flakey – perfect in a tamale with a vibrant corn salsa on the side. Perch, or any other mild white fish, is incredibly moist and delicious in Spencer’s fish and golden caramelized onion dumplings. Crab is a favourite for many because of its sweet and slightly salty taste. Spencer combines crab meat with soft artichokes and an explosive roasted red pepper sauce in a crispy pastry strudel that makes for a perfect appetizer. Then, inspired by game day, who doesn’t love a jalapeno popper à la Spencer Watts? He stuffs spicy jalapenos with sweet crab meat and cream cheese, then wraps it all up in bacon.

Episode 1003 – Salty

High-energy chef and seafood expert Spencer Watts loves cooking with seafood, which is why he’s making a cookbook featuring delicious sustainable seafood recipes. Today he reveals how the many faces of salt, like soya and miso, add incredible flavor to cod and prawns. Spencer starts with sweet, sustainable Pacific Coast black cod, which is also known as butterfish because it melts in the mouth. First, he brines the cod in maple and soy, then he caramelizes it in sizzling butter, and finally he rests it on top of a creamy butternut squash puree. Next he transforms Atlantic salt cod into decadent fluffy-on-the inside, crispy-on-the-outside salt cod potato cakes. In act three he makes sweet, succulent prawn dumplings and introduces them to his favorite miso soup.He finishes by showing how to cook prawns with a light salt crust and a decadentbéarnaise sauce perfect for dunking.

Episode 1004 – Citrus

Fish loves to dance with sweet, juicy citrus fruit – it makes the fish happy, and it makes chef and seafood expert Spencer Watts happy, too. In this chapter of developing his new sustainable seafood cookbook, Spencer shows how the bright burst of acidity from lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit adds tantalizing flavor to mild mahi-mahi and sweet scallops. He starts by steaming mahi-mahi filets in flavor pouches so they become infused with sweet and tangy lime coconut rice, zesty ginger, and edamame. Talk about a flavor explosion. For his next dish Spencer turns up the heat and grills mahi-mahi, pours a charred orange beurre blanc sauce over top and serves it with a zesty citrus slaw. Now it’s onto buttery sea scallops, which are just delicious when covered in a light lemon crumb and served with a creamy lemon, parmesan and white bean puree. Finally, Spencer uses plump bay scallops to make a zesty, fruity ceviche with avocado salsa.

Episode 1005 – Beer and Wine

Spencer Watts is a fish loving chef, who is having the time of his life cooking up a storm of great recipes for his sustainable seafood cookbook. All the recipes in this chapter bring a little wine or beer to the party. Spencer starts with some pub grub – sweet monkfish morsels coated in a crispy beer batter with a side of tart lemon-garlic mayo. Next he transforms monkfish from “poor man’s lobster” to luxe by poaching it in champagne and serving it with a silky cauliflower puree, all drizzled in a prosciutto vinaigrette. Spencer then brings out the littleneck clams and does his favorite broiled clams on top of a white wine, clam and bacon risotto. He closes the party with a garlic, white beer and butter bath for his clams and some fast and easy fried gozleme bread for dunking.

Episode 1006 – Nutty

Chef Spencer Watts is a seafood loving nut. Here he embraces his nuttiness and is bringing some of his favorite nuts and favorite fish together. He begins with a simple, colorful, mouthwatering recipe for buttery macadamia nut coated swordfish and a bright mango salsa on the side. Next he grills up a sustainable swordfish steak and lets sweet orange herbed almond butter melt into a pool over the fish and beautifully roasted yam coins. For his next dish, Spencer introduces pan seared, buttery scallops to his go-to peanut sauce over a bed of soba noodles. Last, he gets nutty with a pine nut and basil pesto sauce bed for some golden pan seared scallops topped with a tart apple and celery slaw.

Episode 1007 – Spice

Spices add texture, color and glorious taste to seafood. Chef Spencer Watts loves to spice things up in his kitchen and in his cookbook so he is bringing the heat to some halibut and lobster. First he gives plump, meaty halibut a long bath in a spicy piri piri marinade, then he blasts it with heat to give it a crust and cooks it through and nestles it on top of a cooling, creamy mint pea puree. Next Spencer goes Moroccan by flavoring a heap of slowly melting butter with just the right blend of spices. Then he submerges sustainable halibut fillets into the deep golden liquid to slowly poach and soak up all the warm flavors dancing in the pot. He plates the fish with a black currant and olive couscous and drizzles it all with the decadent spicy butter. Then Spencer introduces Canadian Atlantic Lobster to the exotic spices of Thailand with a gorgeous, deep, flavorful curry. To wrap it all up, Spencer grills up juicy Pacific lobster tails with a five alarm jerk sauce crowned with piles of sweet grilled pineapple salsa.

Episode 1008 – Herb

All chefs love fresh herbs and Chef Spencer Watts is no exception – he has an arsenal of great recipes that marry seafood and aromatic, vibrant and fresh herbs. He starts with an old world Spanish dish, escabeche mackerel, which is a pan-fried mackerel fillet marinated in a cumin-infused vinegar. He tops it with an herb salad and serves it with warm roasted vegetables. He then blankets fresh mackerel fillets in a beautiful and fragrant pistachio herb pesto, adds a light dusting of breadcrumb and cheese and broils the fillets before serving them with a garlic and lemon yogurt sauce and fresh pita bread. Next Spencer highlights delicate and aromatic lemongrass by infusing its perfume into a pot of sake and lemongrass steamed mussels. He then combines them with rice noodles, carrots, peanuts and cilantro for an Asian-inspired salad. He then knocks it out of the park with a family friendly pot of creamy dill mussels with sour cream and chive fries.

Episode 1009 – Boozy

Where there is food there are often pints of frothy beer, fragrant wine or inventive cocktails – so why not bring food and drink together in one delicious culinary concoction? Seafood loving Chef Spencer Watts brings prawns and sturgeon to this boozy party. He starts with portions of glorious, meaty dinosaur fish – Atlantic Sturgeon. Spencer pan sears the steak-like fish to perfection before setting it onto a smear of decadent Pernod cream sauce and topping it with a vibrant fennel and grapefruit salad. He then whips up his party go-to dish – succulent Cajun Prawns in a white wine, honey and lime butter sauce. Next Spencer combines prawns with a full bodied red wine in an intoxicating prawn shell infused tomato sauce tossed with fresh linguine pasta and basil. Then Spencer pops the cork on some sparkling Rosé and makes a creamy and elegant pale pink dessert sabayon topped with Atlantic Sturgeon Caviar and fresh mint.

Episode 1010 – Stuffed

Turkeys are not the only food worth stuffing. Chef Spencer Watts loves all things fish and rainbow trout and oysters are two of his favorite foods to stuff.  First he goes back to his “campin’n’fishin” days and works with a whole, fresh rainbow trout. He makes a simple, mouthwatering, BLT – bacon, leek and tomato stuffing in a creamy sauce and show us how to glam up food for the campfire. Then Spencer makes a delicious fresh rainbow trout tartare and shows how to wrap it up in a sliced avocado for a fun and beautiful presentation. Being a West Coast boy with a fisherman father, Spencer has had a lifelong love affair with oysters. So he goes traditional with oyster Rockefeller and his go-to romesco sauce. Last, he whips up an epic deep fried oyster po-boy sandwich with a chipotle mayo slaw inspired by New Orleans street food.

Episode 1011 – Mixed

Seafood is great on its own, but when you bring them together – it makes for some great eating.  Seafood loving chef Spencer Watts brings sustainable halibut, scallops and shrimp together to make a fish burger that would make a cow weep. It is that good! Coated in a light panko topping and pan fried, the burger is crispy on the outside and lathered in a horseradish tartar sauce then served with fresh tomatoes and lettuce on a golden toasted bun. Then, inspired by his mother’s seafood crêpes, Spencer puts the trifecta of seafood together – scallops, crab and lobster – into a soft buttery crepe, coats it in a decadent hollandaise and gruyere cheese and broils it until it’s golden and delicious. In the third act, it’s all about the chowder – but this one is inspired by Spencer’s time in Asia. Mussels, clams and prawns swim with sweet potatoes in a deep red coconut curry broth bound to warm you up from head to toe. Last, he whips together a bright, simple, mouthwatering mixed seafood salad with prawns, squid, chorizo sausage and chickpeas.

Episode 1012 – Saucy

What’s not to love about a warm, delicious sauce that brings an extra layer of fun and taste to a dish – especially when eating fish. Chef Spencer Watts gets saucy with two kinds of salmon and some crab. First he demonstrates how to make the perfect pan fried fillet of rich and tasty Atlantic salmon and then he serves it with a creamy mascarpone sauce that takes the dish from every day to extraordinary in minutes. There are several different kinds of salmon, so this time he grabs some lean, vibrant salmon and show us how to turn it into a roulade. Then he makes a mouth-watering crab sauce and drapes it over pretty and perfect little parcels, making a beautiful and luscious dish. The sweet meat from rock crab can be bought already cooked and out of the shell, just ready for eating. Spencer uses it to make his family recipe for crab cakes. Then he makes a creamy, bright orange aioli – perfect for crab cake dunking.  Finally he show us the real deal – the Dungeness crab – and demonstrates how to crack the shell and eat one like a pro. With some clarified butter and some Mediterranean sauce, crab is a fun, beautiful and tasty mess.

Episode 1013 – Butter

If there is one thing chefs love, it’s butter, and Spencer Watts is no different.  Fish and butter are best friends whether acting as an oil for a pan, a dipping sauce or pot full of golden poaching liquid. It adds a rich and luxurious taste to almost any dish. Starting with a whole walleye (or in Canada we call it a pickerel) Spencer lathers this lake fish with a rich bacon butter and gives it a simple bread and bacon butter stuffing. Perfect for a campfire or home – you can’t go wrong with bacon and butter and fish. Then he takes a walleye fillet and pan sears it to perfection in butter to get a gloriously crispy skin. He serves it with a spätzle and a simple but delicious brown butter caper sauce. Next it’s all about the mighty Atlantic lobster. Spencer show us how to extract the claw meat from cold steamed lobster and then gently poaches the sweet meat in maple butter before placing it on top of a bed of creamy parmesan polenta. Last it’s all about the lobster tail. Spencer coats the tails in a roasted garlic South American inspired chimichurri butter and broils it for mere minutes to get a stunning, delectable dish.

Episode 1014 – Breaded

In this episode, seafood loving chef Spencer Watts breaks bread and pastry with Canadian cod and squid. First he works with his favorite fish of all time, Black Cod, otherwise known as butter fish or sable fish. His fish today is sustainably farmed in British Columbia. Spencer takes this buttery, soft fish and cooks it in a fragrant and simple Portuguese bread soup to make a belly-warming dish. Then he rolls out the puff pastry and stuffs the buttery and flaky dough with salt cod and ricotta to make a delicious calzone. Spencer then reveals the secret to perfect, tender, buttermilk-marinated deep fried calamari. The crisp golden rings are plated with red chilies, pea shoots and a tart apple and celeriac remoulade. Then he makes the best tempura batter of his life for some light and airy tempura calamari strips served with ginger and chives and a simple Asian dipping sauce.

Episode 1015 – Oil

If you want a chef to list his must haves in the kitchen, oil will be right there at the top. Chef Spencer Watts makes fish and shellfish dishes with intense flavor pops by using different kinds of oil. First he demonstrates how to slowly poach Atlantic Salmon in glorious olive oil to give it a texture that is mouthwatering and luxurious. Plated on top of a vibrant spinach salad with ripe raspberries and a pancetta vinaigrette, it’s a dish fit for a king. Then he roasts a fillet of pacific salmon on a bed of roasted garlic and onions and punches the flavor up with a bright green chive oil. Next he whips together the perfect simple and delightfully tasty Monday night dish: grilled prawns with pasta and a garlic chili oil. Last, he uses the shells from his shrimp to make a deep red prawn oil for a tartare sauce that will knock your socks off. It’s the perfect side to his golden brown, deep fried party prawns.

Episode 2016 – Vinegar

Though it’s often forgotten on the pantry shelf, vinegar is the perfect partner for fish. Join chef and seafood expert Spencer Watts as he develops accessible and tasty recipes for his new sustainable seafood cookbook. First, he transforms salt and vinegar chips into a crunchy crust for walleye and serves it up with a flavorful vinegar slaw. Next, Spencer turns to balsamic vinegar to enhance his walleye with a sweet marinade before frying it and serving it with a caprese salad drizzled with balsamic, of course. Now it’s onto lobster! Using vinegar in yet another way, Spencer makes a gastrique dipping sauce for his spicy grilled lobster skewers. For his final recipe, Spencer shares his take on crawfish popcorn with just a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to bring it all together.

Episode 2017 – Cocktails

What’s more fun than drinking cocktails? Cooking with them! Chef Spencer Watts shows how great cocktails can inspire delicious fish recipes. First up, Spencer brings the sweet and fresh flavours of mint and rum from a mojito to some grilled mahi-mahi and serves it up with some Cuban black beans and rice.  Next, he pairs mahi-mahi with the decadent and complex flavours of bourbon, bitters, sugar and orange commonly found in a classic “old Fashioned”.  Spencer then cooks up tasty Cosmo-inspired crab hush puppies with the essence of tart cranberry and zesty citrus. To finish, Spencer gets inspiration from a Pina colada and makes coconut king crab legs with a sweet rum-pineapple chutney. Cocktails and food have never looked better.

Episode 2018 – Cold

Fish can be fried, baked, broiled, poached or grilled, but sometimes, fish is a dish best served cold. To start things off, Chef Spencer Watts makes a stunningly beautiful and equally delicious arctic char beet and dill gravlax. Nestled on a bed of cold and creamy potato noodles in yogurt-chive dressing the char is fresh and bright and mouth in your mouth good.  Next Spencer shares his go to party pâté made with smoked arctic char and a tangy homemade mayo.  Served up with cheesy homemade bagel crisps, he shows how simple it is to make a great crowd pleasing dip.  Cold shrimp and cocktails sauce is good, but shrimp ceviche is better!  Spencer serves his with a creamy avocado dip in a homemade tortilla bowl making it picture perfect and portable!  Last, shares his tips to making the perfect shrimp cold roll with a five spice dipping sauce.

Episode 2019 – Wrapped

Chef and fish lover Spencer Watts plays with taste and texture, wrapping his favourite seafood in fun and creative ways making exciting new fish recipes.  First, Spencer embraces salty and sweet painting a dense and delicious swordfish steak with pureed dates and wrapping it in salty bacon.  Fragrant and delicious he finishes on the dish with a little extra crunch from a tasty cumin fried kale. For his second dish, Spencer cooks a golden, perfectly flakey and buttery swordfish wellington. Next, it’s on to shrimp. Chef Watts prepares deep-fried shrimp rolls with a plum dipping sauce that packs a spice punch. To finish things off, Spencer wraps shrimp in potato strings and creates a simple dish that will blow the minds of both adults and kids.

Episode 2020 – Garlic

Garlic and seafood are best friends and chef Spencer Watts is sharing his favourite garlicy fish recipes.  First he shares his mouth- watering steamed haddock with black bean sauce.  Next, Spencer takes advantage of haddock’s fantastic velvety and flakey texture by combing it with sticky rice to make his delicious garlic haddock sticky rice balls drizzled with a vibrant garlic scape pesto. Garlic is once again the star of the show as Spencer prepares a creamy escargot and mushroom tart with a flavourful Paris butter. To finish, Chef Watts prepares a simple but delicious garlic escargot broil featuring salty feta that’s perfect for your next potluck.

Episode 2021 – Seeds

Seeds are little gems that can add flavor to any dish, including seafood. To start, Chef Spencer Watts turns to nutty toasted pumpkin seeds and pairs them with the delicate but delicious sole, to make a beautiful roulade. Sole is a thin, firm fish making it perfect for a crispy sunflower seed crust. Spencer pairs the crusted fish with a colorful roasted chickpea salad. Next, he uses the tangy flavor of mustard seeds to make a tasty beer and mustard seed calamari accompanied with a mustard seed aioli.  Last but not least, Spencer marries squid with fragrant sesame seed oil in an Asian inspired grilled squid dish that is shockingly simple and delicious.

Episode 2022 – Peppers

Seafood loving chef Spencer Watts continues to have fun in the kitchen as he works on new recipes for his sustainable seafood cookbook. Finding inspiration in his love of peppers Spencer starts with a blackened catfish and jambalaya stuffed bell peppers. Colorful, fragrant and full of Creole flavor these peppers are a great family meal. Next, Spencer batters up the meaty catfish fillets and lets them dance in oil while he whips up a simple and mouth-watering smoky jalapeno and pepper relish. Chef Watts continues to play with seafood and peppers as he mixes razor clams’ mild, briny taste with a habanero hollandaise that brings the heat. For his last recipe, Spencer shows a sometimes a simple recipe can pack a punch  – like here in his colorful and tangy pink pepper and tarragon dressing – perfect to dress some steamed razor clams

Episode 2023 – Sweet

Just like dessert, fish can be at its best when it’s sweet – it’s just a matter of mixing the right flavours! First up, seafood lover Chef Spencer Watts soaks dense, sweet sablefish in a root beer and fennel marinade and serves it with creamy, grilled bok choy. Next up, Spencer dresses velvety sablefish in a mole sauce that has a hint of maple and chocolate.  Just like sablefish, lobster has its sweet side! Spencer uses the sweet claw and tail meet of Atlantic lobster in his take on a traditional lobster roll that includes fresh apple compote and a mascarpone mayo. For the final dish, Chef Watts makes delicious rock lobster tails with a sweet molasses mustard glaze.

Episode 2024 – Fast Favs

Quick and easy can also be super tasty! Chef Spencer Watts shares some of his favourite seafood recipes that can all be done in less than 30 minutes. First up, its rainbow trout tacos with Spencer’s signature crispy taco rice. Next, Spencer puts his twist on traditional fish and chips using sweet, tender rainbow trout filets served with crispy potatoes and a tasty, colourful slaw. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner. Scallops are the star of the next dish as Spencer shows how to make a quick scallop stir fry filled with colourful vegetables and a mouth-watering sauce.  To finish things off, it’s pizza time – ultimate pizza time. Chef Spencer Watts warns that regular pizza might never satisfy again after you try his scallop and bacon pizza – it is that good.  Indulge at your own risk!

Episode 2025 – Fruit

Fruit makes a great snack, but it adds the perfect touch of sweetness to a seafood dish. Chef and seafood lover Spencer Watts dresses some wild Sockeye salmon in a double dose of sweet apricot.  First he paints the fish in a sticky apricot glaze and then serves the decadent fish with an apricot and pomegranate fruit salsa. Next, Spencer uses fatty, delicious Atlantic salmon to make salmon burgers with sweet, pickled peaches and a spicy lime mayo. Then Spencer brings in flavours from all over the world as he makes sweet pan seared scallops with a Chinese five spice, Israeli couscous and his world famous pineapple jam. When combined, it makes of an explosion of flavours. To finish, Spencer uses sweet, buttery, tender bay scallops to make a scallop and apple tartare with beets, crispy pancetta, and a creamy avocado. It’s an incredible collage of flavours and textures that makes for an incredible dish.

Episode 2026 – Dairy

In this episode, seafood loving Chef Spencer Watts makes dairy infused recipes that are sure to impress your family and friends! First up, Spencer keeps things simple using a clarified butter to cook the mild, sweet red snapper. The melt-in-your-mouth delicious snapper goes perfectly with crispy smashed fingerling potatoes. Next, Spencer makes his go-to brunch dish, but with a seafood twist: cheesy red snapper frittata. Red snapper’s firm, dense meat is perfect for a frittata, especially with grilled green onions and a sweet burst of flavor from grape tomatoes. There is no better way to pair dairy and seafood than in a chowder. For his version, Spencer combines meaty scampi with crispy bacon and a creamy chowder. For his final recipe, it’s time for a classic dish: brown butter scampi. Spencer combines the sweetness of the scampi with crunchy toasted pine nuts and steamed green beans for a dish that is fit for a restaurant table

Episode 2027 – Tart

Nothing will make your mouth water like the punch of something a little sour.  Chef and seafood lover Spencer Watts cooks up some deliciously tart fish dishes everyone will enjoy. To start, Spencer makes a tart sour cherry salsa that will go perfectly with a mild grouper fillet and rainbow zucchini noodles. Next up, Chef Watts has fun as he prepares a dish that is not only tart in flavour but is an actual tart! He combines the mild flavour of grouper with some fried spinach to make a delicious creamy grouper and spinach tart. For the next dish, Spencer uses razor clams to make his buttermilk marinated fried clam strips. To go with his clams, he makes a homemade cocktail sauce packed with flavour.  To finish things off, its clams Neptune nestled in a meaty Portobello mushroom cap and topped with smoky cheese.

Episode 2028 – Coffee/Tea

If you thought coffee and tea were just for drinking in the morning, you thought wrong! Chef Spencer Watts demonstrates how a little caffeinated flavour can bring your fish dish to the next level. For his first dish, Spencer adds a tantalizing coffee and peppercorn crust to albacore tuna and creates a visual feast with a rainbow ribbon salad drizzled in a coffee vinaigrette. Next, Spencer combines coffee with citrus for his coffee and ponzu marinated ahi tuna. To go with the pan seared tuna, fried shallots and capers add a touch of saltiness. Just like coffee, tea can add a ton of flavours to seafood. Chef Watts gets creative with his delicious mushroom-tea steamed mussels and linguini. It’s simple but it’s the perfect dish to impress your guests. Lastly, Spencer uses spicy, sweet, creamy chai tea to cook his mussels. And what better way to soak up the delicious, aromatic sauce than with crispy chickpea bread. It’s the perfect way to add tea and spice to a seafood dish.

Episode 2029 – Surf & Turf

No one said you had to choose between land and sea! Chef Spencer Watts shows how you can blend meat and seafood flavours to create tantalizing surf and turf dishes. For his first recipe, Spencer mixes delicious, flaky halibut with spicy chorizo in a paella packed with flavour. Just like chorizo, ham makes a great partner for halibut. Spencer combines the two in his ham-hock broth poached halibut with seasoned black lentils. For his next recipe, Chef Watts puts his own twist on a classic steak and lobster dish. There’s nothing better than a ribeye steak grilled to perfection – except when it’s paired with a garlicky lobster butter!  To finish, Spencer makes a non-tradition chicken cordon bleu, replacing the traditional ham portion of the stuffing with sweet lobster meat.

Episode 2030 – Whole

Why take only a small piece when you can have the whole thing? Chef Spencer Watts shows how cooking with whole fish and shellfish is an opportunity for fantastic flavour. Spencer starts things off with salt-crusted whole snapper with a classic beurre blanc. Not only does the salt provide a delicious crust, it makes the fish perfectly moist and flaky. Next up, Chef Watts takes on a classic bouillabaisse using fresh, sweet red snapper. There’s nothing better than a whole fish in a thick, rich and decadent stew.  Moving on, Spencer makes a creamy, delectable bisque with sweet crab meat and crunchy homemade garlic croutons. For his final dish, Spencer fries soft-shelled blue crabs and serves them with a lime and pepper aioli.

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