This is the close cousin to the much loved and most popular salmon as well as the lake trout. Some will argue that it is the better option as the texture is believed to be more delicate and clean with a mild flavor. In fact, the Arctic char has become a household name in Television food shows like Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen and is rapidly growing in popularity. Char is a great source of heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids as well as an excellent source of protein. This fish is also an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and vitamin B. Farmed Arctic char has been voted "Best Choice" by the Monterey Bay Aquarium due to environmental stability. Arctic char is known for having a slightly sweet flavor and is delicious both with skin and skinless. There is a wide market for this particular fish in the US as well as Canada, Iceland and Norway and Anderson Seafoods offers a year round supply, both fresh and frozen. You can also place orders online as Anderson Seafoods boasts the freshest and tastiest fish going straight from the waters to your kitchen.
How Is Arctic Char Caught?
The largest population of Arctic char comes from Canada and Iceland farms. Farmed char is considered the best option as the fish poses little threat to the environment and so the best method of catching farmed fish is through the use of agricultural methods suitable for the farms. When catching wild char, it is best to be prepared for a fight because they don’t come easily. These fish are widely known for fighting and wriggling ferociously when caught. On the other hand, one sure fire method to catch a wild char is using brightly coloured nymphs at the end of your hooks. They are attracted to colours like pinks and oranges so it is highly likely that you will get a bite when using this method.
Where Is Arctic Char Found?
Arctic char is currently farmed in cold climates like Canada, Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Russia as well as certain parts of the U.S. In fact, it is the most Northerly freshwater fish found in that region. Although, the fish is native to the waters of the Arctic Ocean, they have been known to venture south into British waters and have even been labelled as the British Salmon.
Farmed or Fresh?
Whilst both choices are seen as delectable substitutes for salmon or even trout, it is important to know the difference so that you can make a clearer and more definitive decision about what you want on your plate. Farmed char is available bother fresh and frozen with the added options of boneless fillets with the skin on or off. Due to what they are fed, farmed char has redder skin with cream-colored spots as opposed to wild char which is more silver in appearance. Looking for more flavor? Then it is important to note that the bigger the fish, the oilier and more flavorful it tastes and in the case of wild char, when caught later in the year, the taste is more flavorful as well. Wild sea char is often larger and can grow up to 20 pounds in weight whilst farmed char is often smaller with the regular weight reaching up to 5 pounds.
Arctic char sashimi or Iwana sashimi is a great option and in indeed one of the best ways to enjoy the true luscious flavors of this fish. The red flesh which is delicate yet firm is quickly rising as a consumer favorite. Reviews have shown that farmed char is the tastier option.
When grilling char, marinating it with the likes of teriyaki sauce and or olive oil is a popular choice. The oily skin is likely to turn leathery when cooked so it is recommended that it is grilled skinless. On the other hand, char is more than likely to stay moist when grilled allowing you to enjoy the rich flakes and rich flavors.
A quick and easy option which serves as a healthy choice for the busy cook. Using the seasonings of your choice, frying char in a medium heated pan with olive oil for 2-3 minutes per side is all it takes to set the pace for a healthy and tasty meal.
Whole baked char is an increasingly popular option. It is recommended that the fish is stuffed and baked for 10 minutes per inch of thickness at 400 degrees. Whilst butter and seasonings are the pre baking choices, the age old favorite of lemon is never a miss.
Poaching is a healthy and tasty choice where you get to enjoy every last favor of the char without missing a thing. Using your seasonings of choice, it is recommended to use char fillet.
You can have fun with this option as it gives you the opportunity to break out the fire wood and barbeque pit or just opt for a good old camp fire. The char can be smoked in house as well but ensure that the house is well ventilated.
Another healthy option that allows you to enjoy every aspect of this fish. Char could be steamed with or without the skin, when steamed with the skin, it easily falls off once the fish is cooked. A neat little trick is to steam char fillets individually in parchment packets. Throwing vegetables in the mix will leave you with perfectly packed individual meals packed with a party of flavors from the fish, the seasonings and the vegetables.
Tips to Remember
When opting for fresh Arctic char, the fresher the better and tastier so consume as quickly as possible. Ideally, the fresh fish should be consumed within one to three days of purchase. If you don’t plan on using it within that time frame, it is advisable to freeze it. Char could be frozen for up to four months. You can go all out and complement char with any foods usually used with salmon. Whilst farmed char is available all year round, wild char is limited and is seasonally available roughly in the late summer to early autumn. Char is most definitely one of the best choices for heart healthy foods.
Each Fresh and Frozen (Fin-fish item) comes in standard packs containing 2 pieces of 8 ounce portions (Skin On).
Buying Fresh Seafood Online from Anderson Seafoods has never been so easy, or tasted so good!