Arctic Char

Arctic Char is an amazing fish to add into your diet, but it’s one that you don’t often hear about.  Char is a distant cousin to salmon and trout and has a flavor that is often compared to salmon.  It has an iconic pink look to the meat, mainly because of the tiny pink shrimp that make up its diet.  Arctic char can be a great fish to start cooking on for many reasons, and there are a lot of things you can do with it.

Arctic Char Basics

Arctic Char is mainly caught in colder waters and is a fast reproducing fish.  This population has largely been ignored in the past because of the world’s love for salmon.  However, in recent years, char has grown in popularity.  While it is being fished more often these days, arctic char are quick to reproduce, making it a more sustainable fish to eat as a general rule.

You can find wild-caught char as well as farm-raised varieties.  Fish fillets should be moist and glistening without dry-looking flesh.

How To Cook:

Char is a very forgiving fish with a substantial fatty texture that makes it hard to overcook.  You can use almost any cooking method with this type of fish, which really allows for endless opportunities and inspiration.  Char filets and steaks can be broiled or grilled, whereas a whole fish can be baked or poached.  It’s best to remove the skin before serving.

Here are a few fun recipes for Arctic Char filets:

  • Citrus Baked Arctic Char With Asparagus – This is a simple, yet elegant recipe that only requires one pan and a lot of taste buds!  Willow Arlen from Will Cook For Friends shares this easy way to cook up some fresh char!
  • Maple Glazed Arctic Char – Going low cholesterol doesn’t have to mean low flavor, especially in the case of Karen Swanson’s recipe for Maple Glazed Arctic Char.  You’ll love how easy this recipe is and how easy it is to put it in your meal plan each week!  It doesn’t require a lot of fancy ingredients and doesn’t require a lot of your time either!
  • Arctic Char with Tomatoes & Asparagus – Wow!  Looking for a fresh dish for your next meal, then look no further!  This arctic char recipe is easy to serve up and great for a brunch.  Yelena shares her tips and secrets on Cooking Melangery about how to make this char recipe work best for your next brunch!
  • Seed-crusted Arctic Char – Looking for a unique spin on fish?  The Bite House’s recipe is a great option for subtle flavor and fresh fixings!  This recipe packs in the nutrients with a seed crust made of sesame, pumpkin, and flax seeds.  There’s also a yummy sweet mayo recipe to complement this dish!

Whether you bake or sear or grill or poach it, arctic char is a really versatile fish that many cooks have never tried.  We’re sure, though, once you try out some char, you’ll be adding it to your meal plan a lot more!

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