About Sustainable Steelhead and Arctic Char From Iceland

Grindavik, Iceland is a small town with a 1,000-year-old fishing history. These days, it’s home to our partner Matorka, who is carrying that tradition into the future with their commitment to sustainable aquaculture.

Matorka raises steelhead and arctic char using a land-based farm that leverages the purity of Iceland’s natural resources in an efficient, carbon-neutral way. Iceland’s remote location and careful resource management make it one of the greenest countries in the world and Matorka is committed to keeping it that way.

Situated among bright blue hot springs, the farm is uniquely powered by the pristine glacial waters that flow through it, which are naturally filtered by nearby lava fields. These geothermal waters self-regulate the temperature, enabling Matorka to operate with a carbon-neutral footprint.

Matorka’s hatchery is in the southern part of Iceland, where the fish are nurtured by a team of aquaculture specialists before being transported east to the farm. There they are raised without the use of antibiotics, chemicals, or hormones. Once harvested, the fish take a 20-minute ride to the airport. After a short 5-hour flight, they land at JFK and are brought straight to our facilities before making their way to your home.

To taste these fish is to taste the purity of the crystal-clear waters in which they were raised. We like to showcase their incredible flavor and delicate texture by slicing the fillets thinly into in a raw crudo with olive oil and seasonal citrus, or we’ll sear them simply in a pan (we’ve shared some recipes below).

Matorka translates to “food energy” in Icelandic, which captures the mission of this trusted FreshDirect partner: to sustainably raise the best-tasting, healthiest fish in the world.

Try Matorka sustainable steelhead in one of the recipes below and shop for ingredients at FreshDirect.

Steelhead Salmon Crudo with Winter Citrus

What you’ll need:

Two 10-12 oz steelhead salmon or Arctic char fillets
2 blood oranges (may substitute with Cara Caras)
6 pitted green olives (such as castelvetrano, cerignola, or picholine), sliced into matchsticks
¼ cup thinly-sliced celery stalks or fennel bulb
Extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt

What to do:

Place steelhead fillets flesh-side up on your work surface and cut into ⅛-inch thick slices, stopping before you reach the skin. Hold each fillet in place with your free hand, then cut through the flesh close to the skin with the knife parallel to the work surface to create individual slices. Divide slices between plates for serving.

Slice off about ¼ inch from the stem and bottom ends of oranges. Use these flat ends to stand the oranges upright on your work surface, then carefully cut along the sides to remove the peel and pith, rotating to reach all sides. Hold each trimmed orange over a bowl and cut along the membranes to remove the individual segments, allowing the segments to fall into the bowl. Once you have removed all segments, squeeze as much juice as you can from the leftover membranes into the bowl. Cut the segments into smaller pieces.

Scatter orange segments, sliced celery or fennel, and olive matchsticks over steelhead on plates. Drizzle with olive oil and reserved juice, then finish with sea salt.

Steelhead Salmon with Lentils

What you’ll need:

Four 8 oz steelhead salmon fillets
1 cup green lentils
2¾ cups water
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch rounds
1 large leek, white part only, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard (can substitute Dijon for a creamier texture)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for searing
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

What to do:

Place lentils, water, and 1 tsp kosher salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 10 minutes, add carrots and leek to saucepan with lentils and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes more. Add more water if very dry. Once done, remove from heat and let rest to fully hydrate. Stir in mustard, sherry vinegar, olive oil, black pepper, and 2 tsp kosher salt. Keep warm.

Season steelhead fillets with plenty of salt. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a nonstick or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add fillets skin-side down. Reduce heat to medium after 1 minute. Cook about 4 minutes more, then flip fillets and cook 2 minutes more. Remove from pan.

Add more water to lentils if needed to moisten, then divide between four bowls or plates. Nestle fillets on top of each and serve—we like to pair with blanched kale on the side.

Shop all salmon on FreshDirect