Also known as:

Arctic char or Arctic charr, alpine trout, salmon trout.


Waters: Icy-cold fresh and saltwaters of North America and Europe. Almost all store-bought char are farm-raised.

The saltwater variety of char have metallic blue or green backs, yellowish sides, and are patterned with small spots. The freshwater variety are multi-hued, silvery, and similarly spotted. Market-bound specimens usually weigh from 3 to 4 lbs.

Flesh color ranges from white to orange-pink to deep red. The flavor is strong and has been described as a cross between salmon and trout (char is related to both) texture ranges from flaky to firm.

Best Cooking:

Prepare char as you would salmon, which is versatile and responds well to baking, broiling, frying, grilling, poaching, and steaming. Whole char fish can be stuffed prior to baking.

Buying Tips:

Whole char fish should look alive, with skin that is shiny and bright. Make sure your char fish has not been sitting too long in the market smell for freshness. Since most char is farm-raised, fillets are usually of excellent quality, although one should always check for bruises and browning.

Nutrition Value:

Char, 100g/3.5oz. (raw)
Calories 137
Fat Calories 54
Total Fat 6.0g
Saturated Fat 1.56g
Cholesterol 48mg
Protein 20.8g
Omega-3 1.41g

Substitutes for Char:

Salmon, trout.


When you serve char, you can enjoy a feast of flavors and healthy eating at the same time. Char is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote good cardiovascular health. Like soy, lecithin and lycopene, omega-3 fatty acids have taken their place atop a short list of heart-healthy foods. Backed by substantial research and strong support from the American Heart Association (AHA), American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), char is in high demand as part of a healthy diet.

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