Cured Arctic Char


Cured Arctic Char


Cured char:

  • 1-2 pound large arctic char fillets, rinsed and pat dried
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons aquavit liquor(or white rum + 1 pinch of caraway seeds and  1 pinch of dill seeds)

Pickled onion and assembly:

  • 1/4 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Lefse (potato flat bread, recipe here), naan bread, or your favourite tortilla
  • Crème fraîche and dill sprigs (for serving)
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Make it

Cured char

In a small bowl, mix salt, sugar, mustard seeds, orange zest, and lemon zest. Then massage into char.
Place fillets in a shallow dish, top with dill and drizzle with liquor. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto fish & chill for 2 to 3 days.
Turn the fillets once a day, each time pouring off the dish any accumulated liquid, until flesh is very firm and almost translucent.

Pickled onion

Place chopped onion in a small heatproof jar.
Bring vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons water to a simmer in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve. Pour over onion in the jar. Cover and chill until onion is bright pink, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

Thoroughly rinse char and pat dry with paper towels.
Thinly slice char and serve on flat bread or tortilla topped with crème fraîche, dill, pickled onion, and sea salt.


The longer it sits, the saltier and firmer the fish will get.
Char can be cured (and rinsed) 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.