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Crisp-Skinned Arctic Char

photo: Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Arctic char’s silky texture is beautifully countered by skin crisped to perfection using this easy method. (You can cook salmon or trout fillets in this same manner.) Brightly flavored Smashed Potatoes and Peas with Lemon and Dill are a perfect accompaniment for the fish; if serving it with them, top the fish with a sprig of fresh dill, if you like.


  • 2 to 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 5-oz. skin-on Arctic char fillets
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 lemon wedges, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 250
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 110
  • Fat (g): 12
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Sodium (mg): 350
  • Carbohydrates (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 31


  • Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Season the fish well with salt and pepper. Cook, skin side down and undisturbed, for 7 minutes. The fillets will cook from the bottom up so that the flesh stays moist while the skin gets so crisp that it crackles; if the skin becomes crisp before the top of the fish finishes cooking (it should look just opaque), flip it over and cook very briefly to finish. Serve with a lemon wedge.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • bklein62 | 04/11/2020

    Simple and perfect. Timing was right on. I used Meyer lemon instead of regular to better cut the little bit of fishiness.

  • jeanneeliz | 09/10/2019

    I am not a big fan of fish skin but this recipe has changed my mind! The recipe was simple and the fish was delicately delicious with a wonderfully bonus with the crisp skin. Thank you.

  • TishTish | 08/30/2019

    Excellent and simple way to cook this delicate and flavorful fish. I had a one-pound fillet that I cut in half, although this meant that one piece was thicker than the other. I followed the recipe and found I needed to both cook the pieces for about 10 minutes, and in addition had to turn them both over to cook flesh-side down for about one minute more. By then the skin was fully cooked and crispy, and this made it easy to flip the pieces without them falling apart. Outstanding result -- crispy skin, tender and juicy yet fully-cooked meat. Will make this often!

  • kargardn | 02/17/2018

    Delicious and simple. Try it! Timing was perfect for me.

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