Good Friday fish: Aussie Barramundi
We’ve all felt the impacts of COVID, that’s for sure. But it’s been particularly rough on the Australian seafood industry, including our barramundi farmers. Operating through a global pandemic with hospitality and foodservice shutting down, competing with lower-cost imports, all while managing the day-to-day running of the beautiful farms that produce the barramundi we all know and love? It certainly hasn’t been easy.
Capturing all the flavours of Australia, our native barramundi is some of the most delicious, nutritious and celebrated fish in the country. Farmed Australian barramundi is also ethically and sustainably produced to our national standards. By supporting the Australian farms that are awarded the sustainable tick, you’re encouraging better environmental practices in aquaculture and ensuring the future of sustainable Aussie barramundi.
The best of Aussie barra
After the difficulties the industry faced following COVID, now more than ever we need to stand by our farmers. By doing so, we’ll ensure that we have Australian barramundi to enjoy for years to come. And we’ve got some very tasty ways that you can show your support.
Following the success of the first edition of the Aussie Barra Recipe Book, influential chefs and recipe writers from across the country have once again come together to share their favourite barramundi recipes for a second volume. These are the same meals that they serve up to their own families and at their restaurants. We’re sharing just two of the barramundi recipes you’ll find in the book. It’s perfect timing for Good Friday, when it’s a Christian tradition to eat fish rather than meat. Dish one up to your family tomorrow.
Pan-fried barramundi with spiced cauliflower couscous
Recipe by Tom Walton
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 25 minutes
4 Australian farmed barramundi fillets, skin on
½ cup each slivered almonds and pepita seeds
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ cauliflower, cut into florets, stalk roughly chopped
1 brown onion, cut into thick wedges
Punnet cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp Ras el Hanout spice mix
2 cups couscous
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 pomegranate, seeds tapped out
½ cup each flat parsley, mint, coriander, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Combine almonds, pepitas, 1 tablespoon olive oil and paprika in a bowl. Scatter onto a lined baking tray and roast for 10 minutes, until lightly toasted. Set aside in a bowl and increase oven to 200°C.
2. In a bowl, combine cauliflower, onion, cherry tomatoes, Ras el Hanout and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt. Evenly distribute over baking tray. Roast for 12 minutes, until cauliflower and onions are caramelised and tomatoes have burst.
3. Pre-heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Dry the skin of the barramundi well with paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
4. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and barramundi, skin-side down, to pan. Give pan a gentle shake back and forth for 10 seconds. Then, using the back of a spatula, press the barramundi down flat for about 15 seconds. Turn heat down slightly and cover pan with a lid. This allows the flesh to steam and the skin to really crisp up.
5. Cook for another 3-4 minutes like this, checking often and adjusting the heat if needed. You want the fish to be frying but not burning. After 4 minutes, turn heat off, remove lid and flip the fish. Let it sit in the pan for another 1-2 minutes to finish cooking.
6. While the fish is cooking, place couscous into a bowl and boil the vegetable stock.
7. Pour the stock over the couscous then cover with a plate and allow the couscous to steam and absorb the liquid for 5 minutes. Stir and fluff up the couscous.
8. Add roast vegies, spiced almonds and pepita seeds, herbs and pomegranate to couscous and mix through. Check the fish is just cooked, and serve with couscous and lemon.
Barramundi, charred greens & anchovy dressing
1 x Australian farmed barramundi fillet, approx. 800g
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch of kale
For the anchovy dressing:
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
1 clove garlic
¼ cup fresh capers
1 tin (47g) anchovy fillets
20ml red wine vinegar
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
200ml extra virgin olive
1. Remove fish from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
2. Blend parsley, garlic and one large ice cube in a food processor.
3. Add capers, mustard, vinegar and anchovies. Process on medium-high until combined. Be careful not to overwork it or it will discolour.
4. On medium speed, gradually add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream. Scrape down sides with a spatula to ensure the mixture is evenly combined. Turn the machine to high and process for 10 seconds. Season to taste and reserve.
5. Light your fire or barbecue. If cooking with fire, spread embers evenly across the base of the grate and set your grill rack approximately 12-15cm above the embers.
6. Season flesh-side of fish and grill, skin-side down, above evenly distributed embers for 8-10 minutes. Turn the barramundi during the last 2 minutes of cooking to set the protein.
7. Transfer the fish to a clean tray, season with sea salt, a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil and leave in a warm place to rest for 2-3 minutes.
8. Spray the kale lightly with olive oil and grill for 2 minutes until crisp and lightly charred. Season with sea salt and remove to a clean bowl. Dress with resting juices from the fish.
9. Serve the fish with kale and dressing.