Barramundi – glorious food

Barramundi – glorious food

A  great photograph stirs a viewer’s senses, and nowhere is this more evident than in food photography.  When you gaze upon an image of an edible dish, the degree to which to you salivate correlates directly with the deliciousness of the image. Food photography can be utterly magical, even sublime, so it will come as no surprise to you to hear that cookbook assignments offer me nothing but creative excitement and joy.

Briefed recently to capture quintessential Australian cuisine for an upcoming cookbook, I plumped for buttery soft and richly sweet barramundi, the fish that every dinky di Aussie eats and loves, for my cover shot.  In Greece its moussaka, in Japan its unagi (grilled eel) and in France it’s Boeuf Bourguignon. And here Down Under, it’s a dish the Aboriginal people dubbed ‘barramundi’ many years ago because that means ‘large-scaled river fish’ in their language.

Today it’s a regular on the menu of any fine eatery, much loved for its eco-friendly profile. Native to Australia and the Indo-Pacific, barramundi, packed with heart-healthy Omega-3, is not only easy to farm naturally, it offers a deliciously nutritious taste. I love to cook it at home over an open fire with the minimum of ingredients or fuss, and I’ve not yet had a dissatisfied guest at my table. To all my foodie friends I say, enjoy this recipe!

Crispy skinned barramundi (Serves 4)

Ingredients

4 x 180-200 gr Barramundi fillets

1 teaspoon salt bush

1/4 cup olive oil

3 fennel bulbs

1 cup orange juice and 10 g butter for sauce

Method

  • Pre-heat oven 180deg C
  • Slice bulbs vertically 1-2 cm thick to form “hands”; keep fronds for decoration
  • Brush fennel with olive oil and cook in a hot oven for 10 mins
  • Prepare Barramundi by drying with paper towels, then sprinkle with salt bush
  • Pre-heat a non-stick pan over a medium-high heat
  • Add remaining olive oil and once hot add the barramundi skin side down
  • For best result, place a weight on the barramundi to press it flat
  • Cook for 6-7 minutes
  • Turn the barramundi and cook for a further 2 mins till just cooked through
  • Add 1 cup of orange juice to your fennel and cook a further 2 mins
  • Plate up the barramundi skin side up and add your cooked fennel
  • Deglaze the pan with the fennel juices; add butter and heat till melted and glossy; and pour over the fish or serve on the side
  • Garnish with fennel fronds
  • Serve with buttery mash and green beans

Credits

Photographer Richard Weinstein, richard@richardweinstein.com.au

Stylist Marcus Longinotti, marcuslonginotti@gmail.com

Chefs Urban Cooking Collective, https://urbancookingcollective.com/

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