Arctic Char – Appearance

The Arctic char is part of the Salvelinus genus of salmonid fish, of which there is a considerable number of subspecies such as the brook trout or the lake char. It is closely related to the salmon fish, as is obvious in some of its characteristics: it has an adipose fin that is typical to the salmonids and its flesh has the same pink colour. The Arctic char has a streamlined body and is native to the northern hemisphere, where it feels at home in clear and cold fresh water. 

Food Facts Food Facts

Arctic Char

Class

char

Calories

99 kcal per 100g

Nutrients

0g carbohydrates, 0g fibre, 2.7g fat, 18.5g protein per 100g

Season

available year-round

Storage

refrigerate at 0-2°C or freeze

Shelf life

1-2 days refrigerated, up to 3 months frozen

Arctic Char – Storing and Refrigerating

Although the Arctic char is predominantly caught in the wilderness, aquaculture has become increasingly significant in recent years. Iceland, Great Britain, Russia and Scandinavia are amongst the most important suppliers of the Arctic char. The fish can also be found in the Alpine region, where you can buy it filleted or whole at the fish mongers. When purchasing fresh, look out for rich red gills and a natural glow to the skin – both of which indicate a freshly caught fish.

Fresh fish spoils very quickly. It is therefore easier to cook it immediately or store it for one day in a porcelain or glass container in the coldest part of the refrigerator. The fish can keep for up to three months in the freezer. To prepare from frozen, simply rinse the fish under running water before you season and cook it. Arctic char is well suited to grilling, frying or steaming.

Arctic Char – Crispy and Juicy

Frying Arctic char is quite simple, especially if you buy the pre-filleted fish with the skin on. First, heat a frying pan with some oil and place the fish in the pan with the skin side facing down. This way, the fillet will be crispy but the meat will not dry out. To finish, after about 12 to 15 minutes, turn off the heat and flip the fish over for a short time in order to quickly brown the underside.

 

Arctic Char – Get Creative

Arctic char can be prepared in a number of tasty ways, for example, the French method à la Meunière (as previously explained for trout). Or marinade the fillet similarly to salmon, cut into thin strips and serve with a spicy sauce like mustard or horseradish. The classic fish accompaniments also go well with the Arctic char, such as potatoes in all forms, and vegetables such as carrots or asparagus

Arctic Char – Rich in Vitamins and Protein

Above all, the Arctic char is a great source of protein. The amino acids that this protein contains are necessary for building muscle and maintaining healthy bones. Aside from this, the fish delivers lots of vitamin D, which is necessary for a variety of processes such as stimulating the division of cells and maintaining a healthy level of calcium in the blood. Vitamin D is usually obtained from the sun’s UVB rays, and so it is therefore a good element to include in your diet during the winter months when sunlight is scarce. 

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