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Easy Hoisin-Glazed Arctic Char


Chef notes

Sweet, spicy and thick, hoisin sauce is often referred to as Chinese barbecue sauce or seafood sauce (although it's made with soybeans). Here the sweetness is boosted by the addition of honey and it's thinned with lime juice which also adds tang. The quick glaze turns a simple piece of fish, like this sustainable arctic char, into something special. Brush it on as soon as the fish is cooked.

Hoisin Glaze Tip: The hoisin glaze can sit on the counter for a couple of hours or refrigerate it, covered, for up to 3 days. The minced cilantro can be left out completely or else replaces with minced fresh parsley.

Fish Tip: If your fillets are smaller, you can cook all 4 pieces in one 12-inch sauté pan. If you do, use both tablespoons of butter in the single pan so that there is enough butter to baste all the fish.


For the Hoisin Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 or 2 small garlic cloves, peeled and minced or put through a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
For the Fish
  • 4 6-oz. pieces arctic char fillet, skin on
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter



For the hoisin glaze: Stir the hoisin, lime juice, honey, garlic and cilantro together in a small bowl. Season with salt.


For the fish: Heat 2 sauté pans over high heat. Meanwhile, season the char on both sides with salt and white pepper. Dust the skin lightly with flour.


Add a slick of oil to each pan. Set in the fillets, floured side down, and reduce the heat to medium-high. Press down on the fish with your spatula, listening for the sizzle that tells you you're making a good crust.


Add 1 tablespoon butter to each pan, breaking it into smaller pieces so it will melt quickly. Once the butter melts, tilt the pan and baste the fish.


Cook for about 3 minutes on the first side; a bit longer if you're using thicker salmon fillets. You'll see the fish cooking from the bottom up. When it is almost cooked through, turn it over and turn off the heat.


Let the fish sit for 30 seconds or so. Transfer to paper towels.


When ready to serve, use a pastry brush to paint the surface of each piece of fish with the Hoisin Glaze.

Reprinted with permission from "Fish Without A Doubt" by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore, copyright © 2008. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company