The Best Method for Cooking Arctic Char

The best way to cook arctic char is to cook it as simply as possible. This delicious fish comes in various forms, from “smoked” to “natural” fillets. The first method is traditional, which involves poaching the fish in its juices. This recipe should be repeated for each type. After a couple of attempts, you should be able to find a perfect arctic char preparation.

arctic char

Arctic Char Nutrition Facts

arctic char nutrition facts

Arctic Char Fish

The Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) is a cold-water fish native to Salmonidae’s alpine lakes and arctic and subarctic coastal waters. Circumpolar North is its distribution. It spawns in freshwater, and populations can be lacustrine, riverine, or anadromous, meaning they return to their freshwater birth rivers to spawn after swimming in the ocean. No other freshwater fish can be found thus far north; at Lake Hazen on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic, it is the only fish species.

Arctic char fish is one of the most endangered fish species in the United Kingdom and Ireland, occurring primarily in deep, cold glacial lakes and is threatened by acidification. It is much more common and fishes extensively in other regions of its range, such as the Nordic countries. It is known as gilets (Russian: олe) in Siberia, and it has been introduced into lakes where it threatens less hardy native species like the small-mouth and long-finned char in Elgygytgyn Lake.

The Best Method for Cooking Arctic Char

Here is the best method for cooking arctic char:


  • 10 ounces of baby spinach
  • 1 Arctic char, about 2 pounds, cleaned and left whole
  •  Salt and pepper
  • One teaspoon of chopped fresh tarragon, plus a few sprigs for inside the fish
  • Two tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, plus six chilled tablespoons for sauce
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • One teaspoon of finely sliced chives
  • 1 pound boiled new potatoes, for serving (optional)


Here are the steps:

Step 1

To wilt the spinach, please place it in a mixing dish and pour boiling water over it. Drain in a strainer, rinse thoroughly with cool water, and squeeze dry entirely. Set aside the spinach, which you should chop as small as possible.

Step 2

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Clean the fish by rinsing it and patting it dry. Salt and pepper the fish both inside and out. In the belly cavity, place a few tarragon springs.

Step 3

Cover a roasting pan with a large sheet of foil slightly longer than the fish and hangs over the sides. One tablespoon of soft butter smeared lengthwise in the center of the foil, and place the fish on top. Using the remaining tablespoon of soft butter, smear the top of the fish. Fold the foil in half and press it against the fish.

To produce a tight package, twist both ends of the foil together. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the fish rest for 5 to 10 minutes, still wrapped in foil, while you prepare the sauce.

Step 4

Bring crème fraîche to a simmer in a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for about a minute or until the liquid has somewhat reduced. Stir in the cooked spinach until it is evenly coated. Reduce heat to low and season with salt and pepper. One tablespoon of cold butter at a time quickly stirred in. To achieve a creamy sauce, each spoonful should be melted before adding the next. Remove the pan from the heat. Combine the lemon zest, tarragon, and chives in a mixing bowl.

Step 5

Transfer the fish to a serving tray that is still warm. Remove the foil with care. (Fish should be fully cooked yet still moist.) Remove and discard the skin off the top of the fish. Pour any remaining pan juices into the sauce before spooning it over the fish. If desired, serve with boiled fresh potatoes.

Points to be Remembered

Arctic Char

Here are some points that should be remembered:

  • If you want to cook arctic char more conventionally, use a basic pan-searing approach. Heat the fish until it reaches boiling point in a heavy skillet, add the herbs and veggies, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Before cooking arctic char, you should remove the fish from the court bouillon. Afterward, it would help to cook it in the oven until it is cooked through.
  • The fish should remain in the refrigerator for about a day before the sell-by date during the cooking process. Once cooked, it should be served with a side dish or roasted red potatoes. You can also marinate it in the oven.
  • For the best results, use a marinating solution with lots of water. For the best results, marinating the fish in a large bowl of water for a few hours in the refrigerator will keep it moist.
  • During this time, the water will simmer and have a sweet flavor. Then, allow the fish to cool for another half hour. During this time, you can turn it over several times.
  • Arctic char is similar to trout in appearance and flavor, but it is milder than salmon. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and is also a great source of protein. Its taste is milder than salmon but is similar to trout, which is another good choice.
  • When cooking arctic char, keep it refrigerated for a few days, and it will remain safe for a few days after its sell-by date. The flesh of this fish is pink and incredibly tender, and its firm, white skin makes it an excellent alternative to grilled or fried fish.

How to Store Arctic Char?

The precise answer depends on storage circumstances; arctic char should be kept cold at all times. After purchasing arctic char, it should be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days; the “sell-by” date on the package may expire within that time, but the arctic char should be safe to use after that date if properly stored. When refrigerating raw arctic char, please keep it in its original shop packaging; to extend the shelf life of arctic char, don’t open it until you’re ready to use it.

Bacteria proliferate at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit; therefore, arctic char should be removed if left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Freeze raw arctic char to lengthen its shelf life; when freezing, store arctic char in the freezer before the number of days indicated for refrigerator storage has gone. To avoid freezer burn, overwrap the original store packing with impermeable heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper, or place the package inside a heavy-duty freezer bag.


The best method for cooking arctic char is to marinate the fish in a water mixture, onion, carrot, celery, and wine. It should be marinated for at least 30 minutes. It is essential to make sure that the marinade covers all fish parts. After the char has been cooked, you can serve it in any style. The fish should be served in the same pan with the sauce.

Another method for cooking arctic char is to sear the fish quickly, then finish it in the oven. The flavor of Arctic char is comparable to that of trout, and a well-done char is easily prepared in less than 15 minutes. You can bake it in the oven or prepare it in a skillet. It is important to avoid overcooking it, and it will be challenging and dry.