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

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

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To construct this “un-modernist cuisine,” he says, he delved into historical documents, cookbooks, foraging manuals, first-person accounts, and even archeological texts.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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest