Native American Dishes You Can Cook This Week

“Sioux Chef” Sean Sherman is on a mission to revive the vibrant cuisine of his ancestors.

Courtesy The Sioux Chef

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Lakota Chef Sean Sherman, known as “The Sioux Chef,” is on a mission to revive the pre-Reservation cuisine of Indian tribes—food that’s largely gone missing from the American diet. Now Sherman is out with a new cookbook, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, featuring sumptuous recipes for North Woods ingredients: think griddled wild rice cakes, wild greens pesto, maple sage roasted vegetables, duck and wild rice pemmican (recipe here), and sweet and sour roast goose with autumn squash and cranberries (recipe here).

Sherman joined us last year on Bite podcast to talk about paying tribute to his culinary legacy:

 

As I wrote in this profile of Sherman:

To construct this “un-modernist cuisine,” he says, he delved into historical documents, cookbooks, foraging manuals, first-person accounts, and even archeological texts. The process was like trying to take “this giant broken pot that was shattered all over the place and piece it back together.”

Sherman concocts dishes like corn and sumac-seared Walleye, focusing on “building plates that speak of a certain region, almost like a walk around a lake.” Indeed, trees, shrubs, and buds you’ve probably never imagined were edible turn up in his meals. He even has a culinary ethnobotanist on staff to help him identify wild plants that he can use.

Cooking this way doesn’t just pay homage to Sherman’s culture: He also sees this cuisine as much healthier than the typical American diet. Frybread has 700 calories and 25 grams of fat, one of the many reasons that modern Native Americans struggle with diabetes and obesity. Traditional Native American cooking, on the other hand, is “dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free—super diet-friendly,” Sherman says.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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