Arctic Char with Basil Sauce.
Arctic Char with Basil Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Arctic Char with Basil Sauce is a delicious fish dinner that is easy to prepare, nutritious loaded with protein and Omega 3s. It is a light and healthy dinner for the family, or to serve at a dinner party. Even the pickiest fish eater will enjoy the delicate flavor of Arctic Char. Arctic Char is a sustainable fish alternative, with similar health benefits as salmon, but is lighter in flavor.
Servings: 2 -3 servings
Basil Sauce
  • 8 bunches of Basil the leaves will weigh about 1 oz or equal 2 cups, lightly packed
  • 1 oz (28 g) or heaping Tb of minced shallots
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 2 -3 Tb yogurt
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1 Tb dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
Arctic Char
  • 12 oz (340 g) piece of Arctic Char
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 4 sprigs of lemon thyme or thyme
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 Tb butter divided into 4 equal parts
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
Make the Basil Sauce *see note
  1. Quickly blanch the Basil leaves in boiling salted water for about 15 seconds. This will help preserve the bright green color. Drain the basil from the boiling water into a fine mesh strainer. Gently press down on the basil to get rid of some of the water. You do not have to squeeze out all the water, just most of it. Add the basil to the bowl of a food processor, or if making by hand mince with a sharp knife.
  2. Place a small skillet on the burner and turn the heat to medium, add olive oil and minced shallots and sauté until the shallots have softened and become translucent. Add the wine and let it steam up for a for a few seconds. Turn off the stove and pour the shallots into the small bowl of a food processor, (or mixing bowl if making by hand.)
  3. Add the yogurt, lemon zest, about 1/8 tea of Kosher salt and ground pepper to the basil and shallots in the food processor. Process until everything is well blended. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning if needed. Process the sauce some more in the food processor until you have a nice emulsion and the basil leaves are thoroughly blended as smooth as possible. Set aside. There should be about 1/2 cup of sauce.
Arctic Char
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the Char into equal size portions, anywhere from 2 - 4 pieces to your liking.
  3. Using a sharp knife lightly score the skin of the Char being careful not to cut through the skin to the flesh. This should prevent the filet from curling up when it hits the heat of the pan.
  4. Heat a heavy-duty oven proof skillet, that is large enough to hold all the Char filets, on high heat.
  5. Add the olive oil to the pan and heat the oil but do not let the olive oil smoke.
  6. Add the Char filets skin side down, and sear the Char until the skin is crispy, about 4 minutes.
  7. Turn off the stove and place a sprig of thyme and a knob of butter on each filet.
  8. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 4-5 minutes in the oven until the Char is done but still slightly moist in the center.
  9. Be careful not to overcook the Char. It is done when there is some resistance of the flesh when you press down on it with your finger. It is a very delicate fish and you want it to still be moist and not dried out and flaky.
  1. Take a heaping soup spoonful of basil sauce and spread it across the middle of your plate. Place the Arctic Char in the center of the sauce and serve with your favorite side dishes.
Recipe Notes

I used my mini prep food processor to make the sauce. If you have a bender or immersion blender, feel free to use it. You will be able to get a smother sauce and have the basil completely pureed in the yogurt. If you do own a food processor the small bowl option is better suited to making this sauce. If you do not have a smaller bowl for your food processor you might need to double the recipe. Any extra sauce can be used as a marinade for baked chicken. Just add some lemon juice or white wine to thin it out. Do not be discouraged from making this sauce if you do not have a blender or a food processor. Yogurt and herb sauces are delicious with fish and can easily be made by hand. Follow the instructions but mince the basil and add to all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix all the ingredients together. Serve the sauce on the side.