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Mandarin Oriental New York's pan-seared Arctic char with red quinoa recipe

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Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is sustainable and has a wonderful flavor, and it is well worth the premium over farmed salmon. But since it is a seasonal product, it is not always available. Farmed Arctic char is a great sustainable alternative to wild-caught salmon, rated a "Best Choice" by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch, with a similar flavor and appearance.

Banquet chef Matthew Tiscornia pan sears Arctic char and serves it with a simple red quinoa and shaved fennel salad, a healthy and balanced meal that you can easily prepare for dinner.

Ingredients

For the red quinoa:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 c red quinoa
  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 3 T flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • 1 T mint, chopped, for garnish

For the fennel salad:

  • 1 orange
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 2 fennel bulbs, thinly shaved
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c sherry vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 T chives, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Arctic char:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • Four 6-ounce Arctic char fillets
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

For the red quinoa:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the shallot, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the quinoa, and cook, stirring frequently, until the quinoa begins to toast and smell nutty, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until the quinoa is tender, about 25-30 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Garnish with the mint and parsley.

For the fennel salad:

  1. Over a medium bowl, segment the orange and grapefruit, and reserve the juice. Juice the lemon and lime.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the fennel, olive oil, citrus segments and juice, vinegar, sugar, and chives. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and mix well.

For the Arctic char:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat.
  2. Season the fish with salt and pepper, to taste, and sear for about 3 minutes on each side.

Serves: 2-4

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