If you’re looking to expand your fish horizons, but want to keep it familiar, then Arctic Char is the fish to try!
Salvelinus alpinus or Arctic Char is a member of the Salmonidae family along with Salmon and Trout, and is typically a workable and delicious substitution for either. Hailing from cooler waters in the Arctic near Canada and Scandinavia, Arctic Char is the northernmost freshwater fish on the planet. Unlike Salmon’s onetime spawning cycle, Arctic Char has a long lifespan of around 25 years and spawn every other year after reaching nine years old. Thanks to this longer lifespan, Arctic Char is viewed as a more sustainable option over Salmon and is more readily available year round. Look for Arctic Char at your local seafood market or well-stocked grocery store.
Flavor and Texture of Arctic Char
Arctic Char may look like salmon at the seafood counter, but when it comes to flavor it is closer to trout, but with a finer flake. This fish boasts a high fat content making it deliciously moist when cooked with a mild and rich flavor. For an added crispy component, try frying up the skin in oil over medium heat. In regards to color, the flesh of the fish can be anywhere between light pink to deep red, but the flavor will be the same.
Storage and Usage of Arctic Char
To keep fish fillets fresh, rinse with cold water after purchasing and dry off with a paper towel. Place the fillets in a ziplock back, press the air out, and lay on top of ice or ice packs on a plate in the refrigerator. Fish swim in water that is cooler than the air, so keeping them on ice, like in the store, will result in a longer shelf life.
For a simple and easy introduction to Arctic Char, try it in place of salmon in our Ponzu Salmon or Greek Salmon with Orzo Salad. Have a light lunch of Arctic Char with a refreshingly crisp fennel and radish salad. Or have it for a weekend grill out by using this fatty and flavorful fish to make burgers.