Canada 150 Food Blog Challange “Char Patties”

The Jan topic is fish and seafood, and my mind jumped to my time living in Iqaluit, Nunavut and being able to buy locally caught Char along with many other kinds of freshly caught seafood and wild game at the local hunters store.

Inuk drying char the traditional way

Inuk drying char the traditional way

(I found this awesome photo from ronwassink blog, sadly no link working)

I knew the spot as soon as I saw the photo, I have hiked down to that area many times with my husband and my hounds.

We were there for five years and I bought a goodly amount of Char over those years, Char to my taste buds is northern Salmon. The time of year can effect the color of the flesh which can be a lighter to darker pink to an almost deep red color.  Its flesh to me is a touch softer than B.C. Salmon. Strangely on the flip side, I find the dried and smoked Char to be firmer and of a stronger flavour then B.C. Wild caught dried and smoked..

They can be quite big fish and I was able to buy them whole or cleaned, or if you want to spend the money all freeze wrapped in portions. ( I never bought them in portions or pre-seasoned or such while I lived up there) I bought them whole, ideally gutted if I was lucky. But since moving down south to the Ottawa area, I have been lucky enough to have the portioned ones come down with friends. Below is one of my favorite ways to serve it.



Smoked Pan Fried Char on a bed of cabbage and mushrooms


In town, we did fish fry and bake as well as dried and smoked but I had to pick a recipe for this post. This proved more difficult for me then I thought it would.. I wanted to do some research and make sure that the recipes and ways I was taught by the local ladies I befriended while I lived there were a good reflection of the norm.

As I read recipes on the net, I started to laugh.. and I know that it’s not nice to say this but many of those recipes did not come from the north, I know this because when they start writing about using fresh peppers, onions and top with chopped with fresh green onion or chives.. then I truly started to giggle.

The food costs in the north and the distant that food is flown in.. no one I knew made dishes with the type or style of fresh food that I was reading, One winter I was wanting to make a stir-fry, I had my meat and my dried and then soaked foods ready and I send my hubby to the North Store for a green pepper, I wanted one fresh pepper in this otherwise, local meat, dried food stir-fry to be put over baked rice. He came home with a good sizes purple onion? I was like.. really they didn’t have a single pepper in the store.. o they did.. but that single pepper was 18 dollars and my hubby was not willing to spend that, he bought me the 8 dollar single purple onion.

So I am going to share with you a recipe that was taught to me from a lovely 20 something born and raised Inuit who lived a few doors down from us. This dish was a great way to use up the scraps that would be left over from the bigger dishes and or if you were preserving the larger pieces.


Char Patties to be served with Bannock

  • One large portion of Char skinned and deboned (2 cups approx.)
  • 1 cup of instant Potato flakes (add half water to rehydrated them)
  • Salt, Pepper to taste
  • Lard for the pan
  • Flour with salt-pepper-dried garlic powder
Boil your kettle and pour your boiling water over your instant dried potato flakes in a bowl, put a lid on the bowl and leave it.
Take your trimmings, de-bone them, de-skin them and then finely dice them, measure them out.. you want a 3 parts fish to 1 part potato. lots of salt and black pepper or to taste
Open your bowl of now room temp and mix your potato’s up, it should be quite stiff, put your pre-seasoned fish into the bowl and mix well. Take out large spoons worth of the mixture, Roll them in flour and lower them gently into the hot lard in a good fry pan. Gently flatten them a touch
Do not touch them for at least a min or two till you can see golden brown edges, the patty when nudged should move, if it does not, let it cook a bit longer, flip only once, after flipping, press a touch to flatten and allow to cook another 2 or 3 min till golden brown.
Move to a plate to drain (the normal thing to say is paper towel but they are hard to come by in the north, so in true fashion, on a clean tea towel) Serve hot with fresh Bannock on the side. They are perfect to be placed in as a sandwich and eating in hand if you wish.


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2 Responses to Canada 150 Food Blog Challange “Char Patties”

  1. Marney says:


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