- 2 x 350g/12oz barramundi, gutted and scaled
For the dressing
- ½ tsp ground cumin
An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…
- ½ tsp coriander
- pinch paprika
A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…
- pinch chilli powder
Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…
- 2 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- juice 1 lemon
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- 5 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- small bunch coriander . roughly chopped
Tip all the dressing ingredients into a food processor with a pinch of salt and blitz to a dressing. Slash the fish three times on each side, coat with half of the dressing, then set aside to marinate for about 30 mins.
Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Place the fish on a roasting tray, then cook in the oven for 20 mins until the flesh is firm and the eyes have turned white. Serve the fish with the rest of the dressing and steamed couscous or rice.
KNOW HOW: HOW TO COOK IT: Cooking barramundi on the bone, as we have done here, has its advantages – it will stay more moist during cooking, and some would say that the flavour is enhanced, too. If you want to take out the bones they are easy to locate and less likely to be lodged in the fillet if the fish is cooked whole. Fillets can be simply pan-fried or grilled. If you like trout, you will really enjoy the flavour of barramundi, which lends itself to similar ingredients and cooking methods – citrus flavours are particularly good, as are garlic and wild mushrooms. Simply roasting the fish with some fresh herbs, olive oil and seasoning is delicious, and in the summer months you could barbecue it, too. One thing that you mustn’t miss are the cheeks or ‘pearls’ of the fish, these are simply lovely, moist and really sweet – well worth leaving the head on for!
Sustainable farming in the UK
Barramundi rarely made an appearance in the UK, due to the logistics and the expense of transporting it across the globe. Now, though, there’s a locally farmed alternative right on our doorstep. A successful aquaculture venture in the New Forest has been producing barramundi over the past few years, using environmentally friendly methods, and it’s now available in many UK supermarkets.
Buying the best
As with any whole fish there are some key indicators to check when buying. Look for bright, clear eyes that are not sunken in their sockets, and check that the scales are not coming loose. The gills should be a red colour. If they look brown – or worse, grey – the fish is past its best. When buying fillets, make sure that they are firm-textured and smell fresh.
A bit of background
Barramundi is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘large-scaled river fish’. It's a freshwater fish, is popular due to its firm white flesh and sweet, buttery flavour.