Pink Pearl: A Sustainable Cantonese Dinner

Diana Chan November 23, 2018 Chinese, East Village, Seafood

Pink Pearl Chinese Restaurant in Vancouver’s east end, has taken a major step in its sustainability journey – removing shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy, from its menu – and highlighting the bounty of sustainable seafood options in classic, Cantonese cuisine.

To celebrate this milestone and the restaurant becoming an Ocean Wise Seafood partner, they hosted a banquet-style dinner featuring a delicious spread of sustainable seafood like steamed black cod, pan-fried clams and Dungeness crab, among other mouthwatering dishes.

Knowing where you food comes from and the impact on the environment is more important than ever as it impacts our health.

Pan Fried Clams in Black Bean Sauce

The pan fried clams were covered in black bean sauce and it was delicious. Make sure you get some rice to really soak up a that black bean sauce so it doesn’t go to waste.

Farmed shellfish like clams are some of the most sustainable seafood options widely available globally. These shellfish are grown in suspended rafts and beach farmed and are harvested by hand, hand rakes, or dredge worldwide.

Basa Fillet with Garlic and Roasted Pork Hot Pot

This dish has a combination of tofu, bok choy, mushrooms, garlic, roast pork and the basa fillet. Another delicious dish and the basa fillet was moist and went well with the sauce.

Conventionally farmed basa is not considered Ocean Wise. They are farmed in extremely high density ponds and as a result have a high risk and concern for disease and the spread of pathogens. As a result, chemical use is high.

In contrast, the basa served at Pink Pearl is from an Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified farm raised in Vietnam. In order to be ASC certified, farms must adhere to standards set by ASC and are audited for compliance. This includes standards on minimizing disease, water pollution treatments and monitoring, criteria on the fish feed they are allowed to use, and minimizing impacts on the local ecosystem. ASC also has chain of custody which means that processors, distributors, or any supply chain company that handles an ASC-certified product can be certified throughout the supply chain to improve product traceability.

Oysters with Ginger and Green Onion Sizzling Hot Plate

These big fried oysters are massive and paired with aromatic of ginger, onion and green onion which is always a good pairing. The oyster is definitely a mouthful, so one piece is pretty hefty.

Similar to clams, shellfish are one of the most sutainable seafood options. As these species are filter feeders, they extract nutrients from the water and require no external feed inputs. In addition, chemicals are not used in the production and effluent is not a concern.

Steamed Black Cod in Preserved Vegetables

Steamed black cod with preserved veggies was well cooked too. Some people may not like the preserved veggies, but it add a tang of fermented taste to the dish. The cod was a good texture, but there were a good amount of bones so be careful.

Black cod/sablefish in BC is managed as part of a multi-species groundfish fishery using bottom longline and trawl fishing gear.The sablefish population in BC is considered healthy and fishing rate is stable. There is effective enforcement on the total allowable catch and where they are allowed to fish in order to avoid sensitive habitats.

All fishing boats have 100% at-sea, dockside, and observer coverage that records and accounts for each fish that comes on board a fishing vessel and makes it to land.

Dungeness Crab with Spicy Dry Garlic

The next dish was the highlight of the meal. It was our favourite item of the night, but then again, how can you resist a pile of dungeness crab? The exterior is deliciously seasoned and there was a good amount of meat inside.

Dungeness crab are caught by trap in BC and is considered a well-managed fishery that regulates legal catch limits based on size, sex, and season. They have a life cycle that makes them inherently low in vulnerability since they mature and reproduce at an early age, are quite reproductive and have a fairly short lifespan.

Bycatch concerns are considered low and the trap fishing gear has low impact on habitat since the trap is immobile once it’s dropped and does not drag along the sea floor.

Beef and Lettuce Fried Rice

To end off the meal, we had beef and lettuce fried rice to accompany the other dishes.

Final Thoughts

It’s great that another Cantonese Restaurant is getting the Ocean Wise certification as the clientele likes certain types of seafood like shark fin. The showcase of sustainable seafood for today’s meal tasted good and it takes a lot of effort to make the switch to ensure our oceans stay healthy without depleting the supply of seafood or causing additional harm to ourselves.

To find more about the Ocean Wise program, check out

1132 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC


About The Author

Diana started Foodology in 2010 because she just eats out everyday! She started a food blog to share her love of food with the world! She lives in Vancouver, BC and adores the diversity of food around her. She will go crazy for churros and lattes.

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