Braised Arctic Char with Sauteed Spinach and Ginger Garlic Caramel Sauce

Watch me make this on my YouTube channel!

Yield: 2 servings

Arctic Char and Ginger Garlic Caramel Sauce

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon white miso

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1 medium shallot, peeled and diced small (1/4 cup)

1½ tablespoons minced garlic

1½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

½ to 2/3 pound arctic char, cut into 2 equal sized pieces

1 scallion, thinly sliced on a bias

Optional: 2 portions of cooked rice or grain of choice for serving

Add the sugar to a 3-quart heavy bottom saucepan. Shake pan to distribute the sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan. Place over medium-low heat. Let cook until sugar is melted and a light caramel color is achieved. If you notice that one side of your pan is cooking faster than the other, rotate the pan for even cooking. If your caramel starts to smoke, that’s okay, you can pick the pan up off the heat and swirl the caramel around if some of the sugar is still in the process of melting. You can also lower the heat if it’s cooking too quickly in areas.

Carefully add the chicken stock (away from you), it will bubble up and may sputter and steam.

Next, add the white miso, oyster sauce, oil, shallot, garlic, ginger and black pepper.  Stir continuously, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the caramel has gone into solution/dissolved. (You can also use a whisk, initially, to break up the miso.)

Adjust the heat to achieve a simmer.

Add the arctic char pieces, skin side up. Adjust heat to maintain and slow/lazy simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip char and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Turn off heat and transfer Arctic char to a plate. Remove skin if desired.

Set sauce aside. If the remaining sauce looks too thick (for spooning over final dish) thin with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

Sauteed Spinach with Garlic

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

9 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed three times and dried

2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced (2 teaspoons), divided

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

While the Arctic Char is cooking, heat a large sauté pan over high heat until hot. Working quickly, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, swirl the pan to distribute the oil, then add ⅓ of the spinach followed by the 1/3 of the garlic, a pinch of salt and some pepper.

Using tongs, flip the spinach in the pan every few seconds to cook evenly, keeping the spinach from clumping together, so that the water can evaporate properly. This entire cooking process should take no more than one minute.

Transfer the spinach to a parchment-lined sheet pan, spread it out, then cook the remaining 2 portions of spinach in the same manner.

To serve, divide rice or grain (if using) among shallow bowls. Top with spinach and spoon over some reserved sauce. Place Arctic Char on the spinach and finish with a few sliced scallions.