Today we are celebrating #BarraMonday! You know the feeling you get when you see something from your childhood and how excited that makes you feel? That’s how we felt when we spotted barramundi, a fish we used to eat as we were growing up in Australia. We bought some barramundi to share a bit of our Australian heritage with our Texan-born boys.
What is barramundi? It is the iconic native fish of Australia. The name “barramundi” is Aboriginal for ‘large-scaled silver fish’. Beefcake remembers going fishing for barramundi in the Daintree Reserve in the Northern part of Queensland in Australia when he was younger. He told our boys the story about the mighty fish which got away after putting up a huge fight on the reel with him and his two buddies.
Barramundi is known as Australia’s seabass. It is a white, flaky fish that bears well with different cooking methods. You can steam it with a little lemon and butter or pan fry and roast it if you like crispy skin or simply grill. It eats low in the food chain and is high in Omega 3 content. Back in the day, I remembered how expensive the wild-caught fish was. My family would pay $50-70 for a whole fish at restaurants. But now, Australis is farming it, making it more affordable and sustainable. I recently paid $9.99 a lb from Whole Foods. (List of retailers here: Australis Barramundi retailers).
With fishing technology so advanced these days, overfishing is a big problem. The fish is farmed in Central Vietnam and raised without hormones or antibiotics in pristine clear waters, then flash frozen within hours of harvesting. Farm-raising barramundi also helps eliminate the likelihood of hauling in other animals like dolphins and turtles. The Vietnam farm recently received a Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program‘Best Choice’ “green” rating for sustainability.Here’s a simple weeknight recipe that was a hit on our dinner table. Here’s to #Barramunday!
1 1/4 lb barramundi (cut into four serving portions)
2 tbs capers
2 tbs sliced black olives
2 tbs semi-sundried tomatoes soaked in olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbs grapeseed oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish
Preheat oven on 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pat dry the barramundi filets. It is very important that the fish is dry if you want a crisp skin. Score the skin gently to prevent the fish from curling when pan frying. In a non stick skillet, add in grapeseed oil over high heat. When oil is shimmering, add filets skin side up. Press down gently and pan fry for about a minute till fish is golden brown. Turn the filets over and pan fry the skin side. You may want to use the back of the spatula to press the fish down so it stays flat. Once fish is browned, place on a baking tray or if your pan is ovenproof, pop the whole pan in the oven. Oven roast for 10 minutes, till fish is flaky. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small saucepan, add in capers, olives, semi-sundried tomatoes and lemon juice over medium heat for a few minutes to heat up the ingredients.
Top the fish with this mixture, garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Till our next happy meal!
Thank you to Australis for providing a stipend to buy ingredients for this recipe. Recipe and opinions are my own. Itty Bitty Foodies will only feature products that we love ourselves and fit the blog.
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