Seared Arctic Char with Lamb-Cherry Hash and Mint Yogurt

Seared Arctic Char with Lamb-Cherry Hash and Mint Yogurt
Staff Writer
Seared Arctic Char
Dan Goldberg
Seared Arctic Char

Sweet, tart Bing cherries are a natural pairing with lamb. To give the meat a kick of salt but keep things interesting, I went with miso for seasoning.

Arctic char is a sustainable choice, and it is also amazingly delicate yet rich at the same time. It’s becoming easier to find, so keep your eyes out for it. It’s a close cousin to both salmon and trout, and either of those would work nicely here if you can’t find char. All have really nice, thin skin that is delicious when crisped up. I always see people in restaurants push off the skin to the side of the plate, but if it’s cooked right, it’s the fish equivalent of bacon. Give it a try — you might just be a fish-skin fan after all.

Click here to see What Fish Should You Be Eating Now for Flavor, Health, and Environment.

Ingredients

For the mint yogurt:

  • ½ cup plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the lamb-cherry hash:

  • Salt, for blanching, plus more to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds (about 3 cups) English peas, shelled
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons white miso paste
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 12 cherries, pitted and quartered

For the arctic char:

  • Four 5- to 6-ounce skin-on Arctic char fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions

For the mint yogurt:

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, half-and-half, and mint. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.*

For the lamb-cherry hash:

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and blanch by simmering them until just tender, about 3 minutes.** Drain and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and sweat them until they are translucent but not browned, about 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the lamb, miso, and soy sauce and combine. Cook until the meat is browned, 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and then add the peas and cherries, stirring to heat them through. Turn the heat down to low and cover to keep warm. 

For the arctic char:

Season both sides of the fillets with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the fish, skin side down, to the hot pan. Let the fish brown for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook until a brown crust forms, then add the butter to the pan. Turn the fish over to brown the other side. While browning, spoon the melted butter over the tops of the fillets to baste them.

To serve, divide the lamb and pea hash among four plates. Top each with a piece of fish and a drizzle of yogurt.

Arctic Char Shopping Tip

A fresh fish should not smell fishy nor have milky, opaque eyes; it should have bright red gills, firm flesh, and a tight anal cavity.

Arctic Char Cooking Tip

Whole fish should be stored upright in ice in the refrigerator.

Arctic Char Wine Pairing

Most white wines (especially albariño) and rosé with most fish dishes. Muscadet, sancerre, or New Zealand sauvignon blanc with cold fish dishes; chardonnay, pinot gris/grigio, or pinot blanc with grilled or roasted fish; sauvignon blanc or gewürztraminer with baked fish; grüner veltliner with fish pâté; vintage or non-vintage champagne or sparkling wine with light fish dishes; fino or manzanilla with small fried fish; junmai, junmai-ginjo, or junmai-daiginjo with teriyaki fish.