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Cooking with Arctic Char

July 8, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Food & Beverage

What Is Arctic Char? Arctic Char, also known as Salvelinus alpinus, is a fish that is found in both freshwater and saltwater. This tasty fish is a relative of both salmon and tuna, and can grow up to a whopping 20 pounds. Market-sized fish are typically around 5 pounds whole. Famed for its delicious, savory meat, Arctic Char is a sought-after fish which chefs agree tastes incredible when paired with white wine.

Arctic Char is a fatty fish which is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and also is a great source of protein. It tastes great with a side of spinach, and has a flavor that makes people wonder if it actually isn’t a decadent meal. Because of this, it has also become a big favorite of health fans across the world.

Where Is Arctic Char Found? Is It Sustainable? Arctic Char is one of the rarest fishes in Britain and one of the only fishes that thrives in the frigid lakes of Canada. Despite its rarity, Arctic Char is not in danger of becoming endangered or extinct. It has a high sustainability rating, which puts even the most eco-conscious worrier at ease. In Scandinavia, many kinds of Arctic Char are common, and are often fished frequently. In America, Arctic Char have been farmed in areas of Canada and West Virginia.

How Do You Cook Arctic Char? Many different cooking methods exist for Arctic Char, and each one of them brings out the flavor of the fish’s typically pink flesh. Typically, Arctic Char is baked, saut?ed, or roasted. Some have grilled this particular fish in tinfoil with great results.

One method of eating Arctic Char that has proven to be very popular is to pan-sear it. To do this, take a 5 ounce filet (roughly the size of the palm of your hand) and pat it dry. Season it with about 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons to a pan, and slowly heat it to a medium heat. Add the Char filet, skin side down to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip the fish. Cook for 3 more minutes, and serve hot. Many people enjoy adding other spices, such as rosemary, lemon zest, garlic, or thyme. Mix and match for best results.

If you are looking to bake an entire Arctic Char, it’s often best done with a salt crust, in a baking dish to preserve the juices. Arctic Char should be cooked until a thermometer read of 135 degrees Fahrenheit has been achieved. At around 400 degrees, this takes about 40-45 minutes. People who have never done a salt crust before should create the crust by mixing 5 pounds of sea salt, 3 egg whites, and 1/3 cup water. After everything has been mixed together, coat the fish with the salt crust, and bake. Arctic Char is done once the flesh has turned white. Salt crusted Arctic Char is a very popular dish in Scandinavian areas.

For more ideas on how to cook Arctic Char, search up traditional Scandinavian and British dishes which use this delicious fish as the center of a meal.

Josephine Shepherd is food writer and contributor to culinary websites. She has written many Arctic Char Recipes and hosted Cooking Videos on seafood topics.

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