Glazed Arctic Char


I try to serve fish at least once a week for the health benefits. It’s no (ahem) skin off our noses, because we like it.

Ten years ago, I didn’t pay much attention to where fish came from. Now I do. Is it sustainable, or is it over-harvested? Does it tend to be high in mercury? If it’s farmed, is it safe to eat?  Some farming practices return contaminated water to local sources or use hormones and antibiotics that are bad for ecosystems and public health. So while the debate over farmed salmon continues, I’ll stick to wild Pacific salmon or a different choice altogether, such as farmed trout or catfish. Two websites you can use to see the latest findings are Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and SeaChoice.

I had read that Arctic char was a good choice, and I picked some up on sale. rates farmed Arctic char as a “Best Choice” for consumers and calls it an environmentally friendly substitute for farmed salmon. The pinkish char tastes like a cross between salmon and trout, two of my favorite fish, so I am sold.

I found this Martha Stewart recipe on Pinterest. The glaze is delicious, even if you use the shortcut I used when I couldn’t find my soy sauce or lime juice. Kikkoman Ponzu lime sauce is a blend of soy sauce and lime juice and is slightly sweet. I usually use it as a basis for potsticker sauce or throw it in a stir-fry. Here, I used it to replace the soy sauce and lime juice and hoped it worked. It did.

The sauce (and juice if you make it right) and the honey form a sticky glaze that is wonderful with the char. We didn’t miss the rice called for in the recipe. There wasn’t enough sauce to top it, anyway. I skipped the scallions as well because I didn’t have  any. The sesame seeds added a nice touch.


Glazed Arctic Char



2 skin-on Arctic char fillets (6 oz. each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons safflower or other oil
3 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. lime juice, plus wedges for serving
Steamed white or brown rice, for serving (optional)
Thinly sliced scallions (optional) and toasted sesame seeds, for serving

Season fish with salt and pepper. Whisk together soy sauce, honey and lime juice.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add fish, skin-side down, and cook, undisturbed, until skin is crisp and fish are opaque halfway up sides, about 2 minutes. Flip, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until just cooked through but still pink in centers, about 1 1/2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate, skin-side up.

Wipe skillet clean; return to medium-high heat. Add soy mixture and boil until darkened slightly and reduced to a glaze, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and immediately return fish to skillet, gently flipping several times to evenly coat in glaze. Place fish over rice, if using, and drizzle with remaining glaze from skillet. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds and serve.

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