One taste, and you will instantly recognize just how closely related Arctic char is to salmon and trout. Like its better known relatives, Arctic char is adaptable—equally suited to the grill or the oven.

As with salmon, Arctic char is packed with heart-healthy oils and mouth-pleasing flavors. Look for Arctic char farmed in Iceland, Norway, Canada or the United States. Try grilled Arctic char topped with a savory blueberry glaze or farm-raised Arctic char Wellington with a mushroom artichoke filling served over wilted baby spinach.

Also known as:

Arctic char, Arctic charr, alpine char

Availability:

Year-round

Product forms:

Fresh or frozen fillets, steaks or whole fish; also smoked and canned

Shopping tips:

Farmed Arctic char is generally very high quality. Do not judge by the color—Arctic char can range from a pale orange-pink to a bright red, depending upon where or how it was raised. Look for Arctic char farmed in Iceland, Norway, Canada or the United States.

Substitutions:

You can easily substitute Arctic char for any type of salmon or trout.

Recipes:

Grilled Arctic char topped with a savory blueberry glaze

Farm-raised Arctic char Wellington with a mushroom artichoke filling served over wilted baby spinach

Cilantro-lime farmed Arctic char with honey glaze
Macadamia-crusted farmed Arctic char with coconut beurre blanc

Arctic char farming: Farmed Arctic char are primarily raised in large, man-made ponds or tanks. More.

Conservation notes:

Farmed Arctic char is a environmentally responsible seafood choice, because it can be raised in large numbers in isolated pools or tanks. More.
Last updated: April 2009

 

Arctic Char Farming

Farmed Arctic char are mostly raised in man-made pools or tanks that are separated from natural water sources. This method of fish farming has a very low impact on the environment because the tanks are self-contained and isolated from bodies of water. This makes it easier to prevent farmed fish from escaping into the wild and helps contain pollution, wastes and disease. Arctic char are well suited to this production method as they grow well in high densities.

Conservation Notes

Most farmed Arctic char are raised in man-made facilities that are isolated from natural water sources, which significantly reduce the possibility of negative environmental impacts. Some farm-raised char are fed fish meal and fish oil from wild-caught fish, which may put pressure on those populations, but efforts are currently underway to develop char diets that use fewer fish and more grain. Overall, farmed Arctic char is an excellent choice.