The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen

The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen

Sean Sherman

Contributions by Beth Dooley

Award-winning recipes, stories, and wisdom from the celebrated indigenous chef and his team

256 Pages, 7 x 10 in

  • Hardcover
  • 9780816699797
  • Published: October 10, 2017
  • eBook
  • 9781452967431
  • Published: October 10, 2017


The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen

Sean Sherman

Contributions by Beth Dooley

ISBN: 9780816699797

Publication date: October 10th, 2017

256 Pages

115 color plates

10 x 7

"Mr. Sherman is joining a vital group that stretches across North America and Canada, using food culture to celebrate and empower native people."—Tejal Rao, The New York Times

"The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen is inspired and important. Sean Sherman and his team remake indigenous cuisine and in doing so show us all a new way to relate to food. This book and what it offers is nothing short of thrilling."—David Treuer

"Sean Sherman is doing some of the most important culinary work in America. In The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen, he takes a forward-thinking approach to indigenous cuisine, bringing his culture into the light to share with the rest of the world."—Sean Brock, James Beard Award Winner, author of Heritage, and Executive Chef Husk, Charleston, SC

"I am impressed by Chef Sean Sherman’s dedication to a cuisine that has long been lost: his respect for his heritage and his passion to bring the beauty of this tradition into the world. This is remarkable work and I look forward to learning from this talented chef!"—Maneet Chauhan, Food Network Celebrity Chef, Founder & CEO, Indie Culinaire

"The expansive book is a goldmine of ingredients and techniques at once familiar and unusual to the average non-Native Minnesotan."—City Pages

"An edible connection to the gifts of this land—and a celebration of the culinary culture of its indigenous people."—The Washington Post

"It’s not every day one finds an excellent cookbook devoted to an indigenous American cuisine, which is why The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman is such a treat."—Smithsonian Magazine

"More than just a cookbook, this is an act of reclamation of Native Americans' history – and their future."—National Public Radio/NPR

"I admire Sherman’s dedication to continually learning, educating others, and innovating on native cuisine before it is lost to us."—New York Magazine

"The Sioux Chef provides food for thought as well as for the body. The recipes will teach cooks everywhere how to pay attention to the world around them for sources of ingredients and how to prepare those ingredients. The personal stories—the wisdom they share—will teach all readers about sustainable living—the interdependence of beings, living with the earth instead of on the earth."—Indian Country Today

"There are cookbooks from which one simply cooks the recipes, and cookbooks from which one learns how and why to cook. Chef Sherman’s book is in the latter. It is a cookbook meant to be studied, one where the recipes are not its most important feature, but rather a part of an overall call to reclaim the history and culture of indigenous peoples. Chef Sherman observes that controlling food is a means of controlling power. With this cookbook, he is taking that power and giving it back to its rightful owners."—Foreword Reviews, starred review

"The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen offers more than just delicious recipes—it offers empowering historical, cultural, and environmental lessons that may hold a key to our future."—Permaculture

"Sherman appears less a culinary historian than an avant-garde chef. He succeeds in making authentic Native American cuisine approachable for the home cook."—Booklist

"This is an illuminating guide to Native American food that will enthrall home cooks and food historians alike."—Publishers Weekly

"Sherman’s cooking ditches Western mainstays like wheat, dairy, and refined sugar in favor of natural ingredients that just may redefine eating in America."—Twin Cities Agenda

"He looks at the relationship of food and American Indians in the Midwest in his first book, written with local author Beth Dooley, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen"—Star Tribune

"In this book, he shares his approach to creating boldly seasoned foods that are vibrant and healthful."—Duluth News-Tribune

"From the very first page of what is arguably one of the most important cookbooks of the year."—Cowboys and Indians

"This is the heritage that chef Sean Sherman is reviving through a language we all understand—food. With a cookbook, Sherman is challenging our definition of ‘local’ food by bringing indigenous cooking back to Minnesota."—Minnesota Monthly 

"Sherman dispels the outdated idea that Native American food means fry bread or Indian tacos. The foods are boldly seasoned, vibrant, and both elegant and easy."—The Forum

"Readers willing to venture beyond the bounds of convenience cooking can learn much from this thoughtful title. Highly recommended for food history collections." —Library Journal

2018 James Beard Award Winner: Best American Cookbook

Named one of the Best Cookbooks of 2017 by NPR, The Village Voice, Smithsonian Magazine, UPROXX, New York Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Mpls. St. PaulMagazine and others

Here is real food—our indigenous American fruits and vegetables, the wild and foraged ingredients, game and fish. Locally sourced, seasonal, “clean” ingredients and nose-to-tail cooking are nothing new to Sean Sherman, the Oglala Lakota chef and founder of The Sioux Chef. In his breakout book, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, Sherman shares his approach to creating boldly seasoned foods that are vibrant, healthful, at once elegant and easy. 

Sherman dispels outdated notions of Native American fare—no fry bread or Indian tacos here—and no European staples such as wheat flour, dairy products, sugar, and domestic pork and beef. The Sioux Chef’s healthful plates embrace venison and rabbit, river and lake trout, duck and quail, wild turkey, blueberries, sage, sumac, timpsula or wild turnip, plums, purslane, and abundant wildflowers. Contemporary and authentic, his dishes feature cedar braised bison, griddled wild rice cakes, amaranth crackers with smoked white bean paste, three sisters salad, deviled duck eggs, smoked turkey soup, dried meats, roasted corn sorbet, and hazelnut–maple bites.

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen is a rich education and a delectable introduction to modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories, with a vision and approach to food that travels well beyond those borders.

Chef Sean Sherman was born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and has been cooking in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana for the past twenty-seven years. He works as a caterer and food educator across the country through his business The Sioux Chef, based in South Minneapolis. He has earned plaudits and profiles in such venues as National Public Radio, Guardian UK, Saveur, and the New York Times

Beth Dooley is author of many award-winning cookbooks, including Savory Sweet: Simple Preserves from a Northern Kitchen, Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook, and The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook, all published by the University of Minnesota Press. She has also written a memoir, In Winter’s Kitchen: Growing Roots and Breaking Bread in the Northern Heartland.  



How to Use This Book

(Not) Frybread

Fields and Gardens

Roasted Corn with Wild Green Pesto

Three Sisters Summertime Salad with Smoked Trout

Wojape Mint Sauce

Locavores and Trade-a-vores

Salad of Griddled Squash, Apples, Wild Greens, and Toasted Walnuts

Maple Vinaigrette

Spring Salad with Tamarack Honey Drizzle


Deviled Duck Eggs

Duck Egg Aioli

Wild Green Pesto

Wild Greens

Stuffed Squash Blossoms 

Corn Mushrooms

Sautéed Corn Mushrooms with Fresh Corn and Fried Sage

Braised Sunflowers (or Sunchokes)

Griddled Maple Squash

Gete Okosomin—Big Old Squash

Cedar Braised Beans


Crispy Bean Cakes

Three Sisters Mash

Smoked Whitefish and White Bean Spread


Maple–Sage Roasted Vegetables

The Language of Corn

Simple Corn Cakes with Assorted Toppings

Blue Corn Cake Variation

Hominy Cakes


Kneel Down Bread

Sioux Chef Tamales

Old-fashioned Cornmeal Mush with Poached Eggs


Amaranth Crackers

Wild Rice Cakes 

Sorrel Sauce

Summer’s Vegetable Soup with Wild Greens

Missouri River Pozole

Hearty Mushroom, Sweet Potato, and Bean Soup

Fish Head and Wild Rice Soup

White Bean and Winter Squash Soup

Wozupi—An Indigenous Farm of the Mdewakanton Tribe, Minnesota

Smoked Turkey and Acorn Soup

Squash and Apple Soup with Cranberry Coulis

Black Bean and Yucca Soup with Warming Spices

Prairies and Lakes

Wild Rice

Real Wild Rice

Tatanka Truck Fried Wild Rice Bowl

Wild Rice Pilaf with Wild Mushrooms, Roasted Chestnuts, and Dried Cranberries


Timpsula Cakes with Cedar Braised Beans


Smoked Whitefish or Trout


Wild Rice Crusted Walleye

Red Lake Walleye—the Good Fish Story

Herb-roasted Fish

Tatanka Truck Sunflower Crusted Trout

Maple–Juniper Roast Pheasant

Grouse with Cranberry and Sage

Sweet and Sour Roast Goose with Autumn Squash and Cranberries

Seared Duck Breast with Cider Glaze

Sage and Rosehip Roasted Duck

Crispy Duck Legs

Rendering Duck or Goose Fat

Duck Pate, Preserved Apple Stock, and Dried Apple

Duck and Wild Rice Pemmican

Smoked Duck or Pheasant

Roast Turkey, Wild Onions, Maple Squash, and Cranberry Coulis

Maple-brined Smoked Turkey

Cider Braised Turkey Thighs


Old-fashioned Rabbit Stew

Rabbit Braised with Apples and Mint


Bison Tartar

The Noble Way to Hunt

Bison Ribs

Braising, an Ancient Method

Cedar Braised Bison

Grilled Bison Skewers with Wojape

Indigenous Tacos


Bison Wasna


Hunter’s Stew

Churro Lamb Sausage

Venison Chop with Apples and Cranberries

Venison or Elk Stew with Hominy

Sweets and Teas

Sunflower Cookies

Edible Flowers

Corn Cookies

Autumn Harvest Cookies

Amaranth Bites

Chocolate Pecan Bites


Raspberry–Rosehip Sauce

Acorn and Wild Rice Cakes

Popped Amaranth Cakes (Alegría)

Wild Rice Pudding

Rice Moon

Sunflower Milk Sorbet


Sweet Corn Sorbet

Hazelnut Maple Sorbet

Wild Rice Sorbet

Maple Squash Sorbet with Cranberry Coulis

Blueberry–Raspberry–Bergamot Spoon Sweet

Wild Apple Sauce (Savory or Sweet)

Caramelized Seed Mix

Roasted in the Shell Sunflower Seeds

Roasted Maple Seeds

Indigenous Granola

Native Granola Bars

Maple Bruleed Squash with Blueberries


Teas and Refreshing Drinks

Labrador Tea

Cedar Tea

The Firewater Myth

Mint Tea

Bergamot Tea

Raspberry Leaf Tea


Sumac Lemonade

The Indigenous Pantry

Sunny Butter

Indigenous Flours

Wild Rice Flour

Vegetable Flour

Acorn Meal Flour

Hazelnut Flour

Chestnut Flour

Indigenous Stocks

Wild Rice Stock

Corn Stock

Fish, Game, Meat Stock



Wild Onions and Ramps

Puffed Wild Rice

Corn Nuts

Dried Mushrooms

Tapping Trees—More Than Maple

Maple Wine and Vinegar

Native Herbs and Seasonings

Staghorn Sumac

Mineral Salt

Culinary Ash

Indigenous Partners and Guides

Chef Rich Francis —Scallops with Three Sisters Reduction and Four Medicines

Chef Karlos Baca —Labrador Tea Smoked Quail with Manoomin Fritter and Wojape

Chef Lois Ellen Frank — Juniper Cured Elk with Dried Chokecherry Sauce

Chef Andrea Murdoch — Inca Trail Mix

Chef Freddie Bitsoie — Corn Broth

Chef Brian Tatsukawa

    JD Kinlacheeny’s Chilchin (Sumac) Pudding

    Terri Ami’s Blue Corn Mush

Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz — Two Fruit Jam Scattered with Seeds

Valerie Segrest — Wild Berries with Amaranth

    Nourishing Tradition

Feasts of the Moon

    Spirit Plate

Dinner of the Blossom Moon, Waabigwani-giizis

Dinner of the Chokecherry Moon

Dinner of the Midsummer Moon, Moningwunkauning and Aabita-niibino-giizis

Feast of the Wild Rice Moon

Dinner of the Little Spirit Moon, Gichi-manidoo-giizis

Feast of the Sorcerer and the Eagle

Owamni and the Buffalo Sky



Photography Credits








  • INDIES Editor’s Choice Prize Winner from Foreword Reviews
  • Midwest Booksellers Choice Award (Nonfiction)
  • Gourmand World Cookbook Awards (US Winner, Culinary Heritage)
  • Nautilus Book Award (Silver Award in Food, Cooking, and Healthy Eating)