Gourmet Food Source
A stunning looking fish which is comparable to the finest trout and salmon trout for both looks and eating quality.
I first came across char whilst fishing on Lake Windermere in the English Lake District, the landlocked species known as ‘Windermere Char’ was once prolific in its numbers, so much so that it was even sold potted. Sadly stocks have dwindled somewhat and gentleman fly-fishers on the lake generously return most of their catch to preserve the char population.
Sea run char can be found in waters from Iceland to Norway and as far as Newfoundland. These fish will grow as large as a metre in length whilst the landlocked char of Southern waters grow to a more trout-like size of around 40cm. The flesh can be pink or white and like trout is quite delicate.
Char should be cooked simply, avoid heavy cream based sauces and robust cooking methods, a gentle poach or steam is ideal as is a light grilling to rare-medium with some butter and lemon. A light vinaigrette, a drizzle of olive oil or some Japanese soy sauce make agreeable accompaniments with flavourings of fresh ginger, parsley, pine nuts, mild chilli, almonds, dill and coriander making perfect partners.
Content and picture © Miles Collins