From the Arctic Circle, in the land of abbreviated summers, we are featuring wild Arctic char caught by the Inuit of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut! We like supporting an ancient indigenous way of life. The fish are caught using traditional methods by fishers who understand the importance of being good stewards of their natural environment. It is so cold up there that the fishing season lasts only about two to three weeks. The whole process of catching the fish to plane-on-the-ground in Chicago takes only about 48 hours.
Here’s the menu:
- Grilled Soy-Ginger Arctic Char
- Fried Rice with Peppers, Onions and Zucchini
- Mixed Greens with Vinaigrette and Shaved Parmesan
As much as I wanted to like it, the flavors were just too strong/fishy/gamy for me. So even though this was a super-special, almost artisanal fish of which it was a rare treat to get a portion – even though all of that, I still didn’t like it. I guess my taste buds are not quite as gourmet as I'd like to claim.
The takeaway for me is to recognize your preferences (and those of your family) and work with them – not against – when planning meals. Would I buy/make the Nunavut arctic char again? Absolutely, but less of it and I’d also plan to fix something else for myself. Overall, a meal well done.
Click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
Recipe by Ann Johnson, inspired by many great home cooks
- 4 (5-ounce) arctic char fillets
- 1/3 cup soy sauce, low sodium
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
- Whisk all ingredients together. Place marinade in a bowl, baking dish, or plastic bag and add the fish.
- Marinate the fish in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
- Remove the fish, blot dry with a paper towel, removing some chunks of ginger and/or garlic.
- Meanwhile, heat the grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grates or cooking surface.
- Set fish on the grill skin side down and cook, covered, until the flesh of the fish begins to turn opaque and the skin is crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully flip the fish and finish cooking to medium doneness, about 2 minutes more.
- Serve immediately, with or without sauce on the side.