Arctic Char is a close relative to our flirty pink-fleshed friend, the salmon. I don’t exactly know why salmon is flirty…but just go with me here. Arctic Char flesh is a startling deep pinky orange and the smell and taste is slightly sharper than salmon. It’s a smaller fish than salmon, so often Arctic Char filets are thinner. I like to broil my thin filets with lots of paprika. Now that I live so close to a fresh fish place, I don’t really have to rely on frozen fish as much (lucky me!). But I do like to keep a few filets in the freezer just because. Trader Joe’s has awesome frozen fish. Well, it’s actually probably not awesome, it’s probably farmed or over-fished and bankrupting entire fishing villages but hey…it’s very cheap. I know that’s not a very noble attitude, but I try to do sustainable when I can. I would love to buy the beautiful organic, happy almond-fed heirloom salmon and I do, once in a while. But fish is expensive and sometimes the frozen Char filets at $4.99 are just the ticket. I’ve never had an Arctic Char burger before..but I figured it can’t be a far cry from a salmon burger…so I just sort of made one up. I had the Korean Taco Truck on my mind, so I had to have Sriracha mayo on top.
Arctic Char Burgers with Sriracha Mayo
You must MUST use iceberg lettuce. If you’ve ever been to IN-N-OUT burger, you understand the importance of the crunchy, almost sweet layer of your burger that adds no nutritional value. Trust me on this one.
Use a food processor for this if you want a nice happy evening, otherwise it’s a lot of stinky chopping.
Makes 2 medium-sized burgers…adjust accordingly.
You will need:
2 small arctic char filets, skin and bones removed *about ¾ of a pound
6 slices iceberg lettuce
3 ciabatta rolls (1 will be made into breadcrumbs)
1 very small white onion or 1/4 of a regular white onion
1 teaspoon parsley
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Sriracha
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 lemon slices
1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse 1 of the ciabatta rolls and put 1/4 of the breadcrumbs in a medium-sized mixing bowl- discard or save the rest.
2. Pulse the onion and parsley in the food processor until very finely chopped then add the bowl with breadcrumbs, paprika, egg white, garlic powder, pepper and a solid pinch of salt. Pulse the char in the food processor and add to the mixture. Combine with a fork until completely blended.
3. Meanwhile, mix the mayo by whisking the sriracha, mayo and agave together in a bowl with a fork.
4. Heat the oil in a medium/large non-stick skillet until hot (about 2 minutes) over medium/high heat. First, taste your burger by putting 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture in the pan and cooking for about a minute. Taste and see if your burger needs more salt, paprika or garlic powder. Maybe more chopped parsley? Using your hands, form a small patty about 3 inches wide. Place in the plan and flatten out with a spatula and cooking for 2 minutes before flipping. Flip burger and cook other side. until skin is attractively charred, about 4 minutes total. In this case, you want the meat cooked through. Repeat for the rest of the mixture.
5. Toast your ciabatta buns, add the patties and sprinkle with lemon juice. Spread mayo on the patties and place 3 slices of iceberg lettuce on top and then enjoy.