Fresh Arctic Char

Tue, 03/06/2018
Fish 411

As part of the Salmonidae family, Arctic char is a cold-water fish closely related to salmon and lake trout that shares similar characteristics including high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s highly variable in colour, depending on time of year and environmental conditions of the alpine lake in which it lives.


Our Arctic char is sustainably farmed at a pathogen-free facility in the Okanagan that doesn’t use antibiotics, growth hormones, or any other medications. It takes an average of 2 years for Arctic char to mature from egg to fully grown fish, and it’s a great option for fresh fish during the off seasons.


Ranging from bright red to pale yellow, Arctic char has a mild distinctive flavor, somewhere between salmon and trout but closer to trout. Its delicate flesh is moderately firm with a finer flake than its Salmonidae cousins, less dense or chewy than salmon. Thanks to its high healthy-fat content, it stays nice and moist while cooking—easy for pan-frying, grilling, or baking without drying it out.


We carry Arctic char all year round, and it’s a perfect substitute for any recipes that call for salmon or trout. Of the many ways to cook Arctic char, I personally enjoy marinating it in soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey before grilling or searing it to perfection. A simple recipe for baking Arctic char whole is to marinate it with lemon zest, black pepper, salt, and olive oil before stuffing the belly with lemon slices, onion slices, spring onions, garlic, and a few bay leaves. Wrap the fish in aluminum foil, place it on a baking sheet, and bake it in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Get creative!  


– Charmaine