Red Chile Rubbed Grilled Arctic Char

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 15 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for deep-frying

1/4 cup light brown sugar

3 tablespoons ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Four 8-ounce fillets arctic char, skin removed and reserved

Rice flour, for dredging

Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish

Salsa Vera Cruz, for serving, recipe follows

Salsa Vera Cruz:

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

1/4 cup green olives, pitted and halved

2 tablespoons capers, drained

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 jalapeno, finely diced

1/4 medium red onion, diced

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the brown sugar, ancho chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, salt and black pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Preheat the grill, a grill pan or a nonstick saute pan over high heat. Brush both sides of the char with the oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Rub one side of each fillet with some of the spice rub. Cook the char rub-side down until golden brown and a crust has formed, about 3 minutes, and then flip and continue cooking to medium doneness, 3 to 4 minutes longer.
  4. Slice the skin into 1/4-inch strips, and then dredge in the rice flour. Fry until crispy, about 1 minute. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined sheet tray and immediately sprinkle with salt.
  5. Plate the fish rub-side up, topped with the crispy skin. Serve some of the Salsa Vera Cruz alongside, and garnish with cilantro leaves and pumpkin seeds.

Salsa Vera Cruz:

  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Combine the tomatoes, olives, capers, oregano, thyme, garlic, jalapenos and red onions in a medium bowl. Add the canola oil to the pan, and cook the mixture 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Finish with the olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.