When you sauté Arctic char, sometimes called pan-searing, you will be placing seasoned char into a small amount of hot oil in a pan large enough that the fillets are not touching. Fillets less than ¾ of an inch are best for this method. The thicker pieces tend to burn before the fish is done.
. Frying pan
. Arctic char fillets
. Salt and pepper
. Oil for frying. (Safflower oil, peanut oil or corn oil all work good). For more flavor, use a mixture of ½ oil and ½ butter.
1. Wash the fish under cold running water. If using fish with skin on make sure all the scales are gone.
2. Pat the fish dry with paper towels, the drier the better. This will give the fish a nicer crust. Placing the fish in the refrigerator uncovered for 15-20 minutes to dry also helps. The main thing to remember if you want a nice crispy outside the fish must be dry.
3. Pre heat the pan over moderate high heat. You want the oil hot before you add the fish. A drop of water will sizzle when you add it to the oil if the temperature is right. Just wet your finger and flick it at the oil. Do not have the heat hot enough to make the oil smoke.
4. Put enough oil, or an oil and butter mixture in the pan to cover the bottom. About 3 tablespoons should be enough.
5. Season the skin side of the fish with salt and pepper. Do this just before you put it in the pan. If you season too early the salt will draw juices out of the fish.
6. Place the fish gently in the pan, skin side down, and season the top. Leave the fish cook without moving it for about 3 minutes. If it curls up just push it down flat with a spatula. When the fish is browned nicely on the bottom it should lift from the pan without sticking too much. Turn the arctic char over and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
7. When it is done remove the fish from the pan. Do not just take the pan from the heat. The hot pan will over cook the fish.