Succulent Seal

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Mar 19, 2015 10:10 AM
Baked seal flippers with gravy

'Tis the season for seal in Newfoundland and Labrador, so we're offering up a few recipes that will make the most of your seal meat. The first two are fairly standard dishes using flippers, while the third is for seal lovers looking for a non-traditional take on this mouthwatering, traditional ingredient. Do you have a favourite way to prepare a meal of seal? Submit it on our recipe website,, so we can all give it a try!

Baked Seal Flippers

2 seal flippers, cleaned and washed

1 cup pork fat, diced small

1/3 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup red wine

1 tbsp butter

1 large onion, diced

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup carrot, diced

3 tbsp flour

4 cups hot chicken stock

Preheat oven to 300°F. Render the pork fat in a dry pan over medium heat, and remove and discard crispy “scrunchins.” Dry the flippers and fry in rendered oil until browned on both sides and blood escapes from the meat. Place in a baking dish. Brush both sides with tomato paste, pour wine over the meat, cover tightly and bake about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cover to keep warm. To make gravy: Discard all but 2 tbsp of fat from the frying pan in which you fried the flippers. Add butter to the fat and place over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot; sauté until onion starts to brown. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook just until flour starts to dry and change colour. Add drippings from the baking dish containing the seal meat. Slowly add stock, whisking constantly, until desired consistency is reached. Strain out vegetables and discard. Serve flippers with mashed potato, roasted carrot and gravy. Serves 2.

Flippers with Pastry

2 seal flippers, cleaned, cubed, fat removed

3 slices salt pork

1 ¼ cups water, plus more as needed

3 carrots, diced small

1 parsnip, diced small

2 medium onions, diced small

1 turnip, diced small

Salt and pepper, to taste

6 potatoes, diced small

Pastry topping:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup shortening

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

Water, enough to make stiff dough

Render salt pork and brown flippers in rendered oil. Add about 1/4 cup water and let simmer until slightly tender. Add chopped vegetables, except potatoes. Season and add 1 cup of water. Continue cooking about 1/2 hour, then add potatoes. Cook another 15 minutes, adding a little more water if too thick. Mix all topping ingredients together using enough water to make stiff dough. Flatten dough and place atop the seal/veggie mixture in the pan. Cover and cook another 15 - 20 minutes. Serves 2. (Recipe submitted by reader Agnes Coady.)

Shanghai-style Seal 

1 lb boneless seal meat, cleaned and cubed

1/8 cup sesame oil

1 head of broccoli florets

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 red pepper, cut into strips

1 green pepper, cut into strips

2 tbsp corn starch

1 (375 g) pkg egg noodles

Sesame seeds, for garnishing (optional)


1/4 cup light Soya sauce

1 clove garlic

1 cup red onion, sliced julienne

1/4 cup sesame oil

Combine marinade ingredients and marinate seal meat in fridge for about one hour; remove and reserve marinade. Heat sesame oil in a wok or large frying pan; add marinated seal and brown for 2 minutes. Add vegetables and sauté another 2 minutes. Mix corn starch with leftover marinade; add to wok. Cook 2 minutes more. Prepare noodles according to package directions; divide among bowls. Pour wok contents over noodles; garnish with sesame seeds. Serves 4-5.

Want another seal recipe? See the April issue of Downhome to find out how to make Bacalao's Restaurant-style Seal Flipper Pie. Yum!