Arctic Char - my first time experience

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Arctic Char - my first time experience

Postby Robert Reynolds » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:09 pm

Ok, several on here know that I am not generally a seafood person. So when Gail's company picked a seafood restaurant for the holiday dinner party, I was a bit unhappy, but an early look at the menu showed a *few* non- fish entrees.
So what did I get? Arctic Char. Turns out the restaurant, Bodean Seafood, has fresh fish flown in twice daily, and Char was on the 'market fresh' listing, so I decided to give it a try. Good choice for me, not fishy at all, similar to trout in texture. Served with steamed asparagus and hollandaise, and delicious bacon/smoked cheddar grits.
Had a couple of glasses of Willamette Valley Pinot Gris. :)
Still doesn't mean I'm gonna pass up a steak next time, though. ;)
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Re: Arctic Char - my first time experience

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:46 pm

Bravo! I usually associate char with salmon because they look somewhat similar but you're right that the texture is flakier and leaner than salmon.
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Re: Arctic Char - my first time experience

Postby Mark Lipton » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:34 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Bravo! I usually associate char with salmon because they look somewhat similar but you're right that the texture is flakier and leaner than salmon.


Well, they are all salmonids, so there is more than a passing resemblance. Texture varies among the members, even within a single species. Lake trout to me is meatier and less flaky than brown or rainbow trout (not to mention the more obscure varieties such as cutthroat and Dolly Varden) and Steelhead even meatier. Among the salmon, I find King (Chinook) to be meatier and less flaky than Sockeye with Coho in middle. In the midst of this all is where I'd place Arctic Char. I love 'em all, though, but freshness is key.

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Re: Arctic Char - my first time experience

Postby GeoCWeyer » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:12 am

Besides freshness I learned this summer that if you catch them yourself the best meat in texture is from cold water just as it is with other freshwater fish. We fished Lake MI
during a heat snap that started the week before. The flesh was did not have the firmness I desire.
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Re: Arctic Char - my first time experience

Postby Jenise » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:12 pm

I love arctic char! I've always characterized it as halfway between trout and salmon. More delicate than most salmons, but with more substantial filets than trout. It was on a lot of menus around Kansas City when I was there last year--but we never see it here even though we're geographically close to it's point of origins (I believe). I wouldn't even know of it except that one fish seller in Vancouver at the Granville Market (and only one, though there are three or four fish vendors) nearly always has it.
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