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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Barramundi with Lemon, Garlic and White Wine Sauce

So, it's been a while. Quite a long while, actually. It's a little embarrassing. 

And yes, the usual excuses apply. Long work days, business travel, no time to plan, shop or cook -- much less photograph, write and post. When I've found my way to the kitchen, I've relied on standbys -- meals you've read about here, or, frankly, meals that just aren't blog-worthy. 

I've learned that for me, blogging is a little like exercising: when I drift away from my routine, I have to really push myself to get out there again. So, I'm pushing. Easing back into the kitchen, trying to get creative, planning menus.

I started slowly. You know, walking before I run. And, honestly, since my actual exercise routine has also been somewhat neglected these past weeks, I was thinking about something light. Something spring-like.

At first, I was thinking salmon. But then, at my local market, I saw something new to me: Barramundi. A sturdy white fish that apparently boasts as many Omega-3 fatty acids as salmon. Or so says Dr. Oz. And my fishmonger.

I was intrigued. At home, I unwrapped my catch, sprinkled on some sea salt and freshly crushed black pepper, and allowed it to sit for a bit. Meanwhile, Wes prepped a green salad and some roasted grape tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of grated parmesan. 

I poured olive oil into an enamelled cast iron skillet, patiently waited it for it to get hot, and slid in the fillets. It sizzled comfortingly, a familiar, welcome sound. About five minutes later, as the sides of the fish began to whiten more brightly and I could tell they wouldn't stick to the pan, I flipped and waited another few minutes. 

Then, I slipped the fillets onto a platter, tucked a minced garlic clove, a tablespoon of chopped lemon thyme and the zest and juice of a Meyer lemon into the pan, and deglazed with a big splash of dry white wine. Another satisfying sizzle. A final step: a small pat of butter, enough to give the sauce a little depth and a silky finish. Swirled it around a few times -- done.

I plated, drizzled some sauce atop the fillets and tried my new find. Barramundi is mild and meaty, with a texture and flavor resembling halibut. I learned it should be well seasoned and can stand up to strong, hearty ingredients and sauces. And I discovered a new find for my repertoire.

Truly, a simple dish. But a great start. I think I'm finding my stride again. Next up, that nice long run...


  1. I have never made barramundi (never heard of it!) but now I will try it - I too need to lighten up for spring - welcome back! :-) Abbie

  2. I've never made barramundi either, but this sounds like a lovely dish. And I'm totally with you on the blogging is like exercise thing. I'm the exact same way. Nice to see you back!

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  4. Hi there!

    I work with Australis Aquaculture, the Massachusetts-based company that is popularizing the introduction of Barramundi fish here in the US. I had to comment after reading your great (and so delicious sounding!) post here.

    In addition to being named a ‘2010 Super Food’ by Dr. Oz and Dan Buettner, Australis Barramundi has been called a ‘2010 Top Culinary Trend’ and a ‘Lean, Green Superfood’. That’s because it’s not only delicious, but it’s loaded with omega-3s (as you mentioned...levels comparable to wild Coho salmon), and is free of mercury, hormones, antibiotics and other bad stuff. Plus, Australis’ greener way of farming has been recognized by major environmental groups and earned us the coveted ‘Seafood Champion Award’.

    With just 137 calories per 5 oz. portion, 2.5 grams of fat (no saturated fat) and lots of lean protein, Australis Barramundi is great for anyone looking to make healthy food choices!

    We have a wealth of recipes on our site (, if you’re interested in trying out some other preparations. Like you, I prefer it with stronger, more robust flavors.

    You can also connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks for trying barramundi fish and for taking the time to write such a fabulous blog - You have 1 new reader in western Mass!

    To good food and good health!

  5. Oooh, yum -- will definitely look for Barramundi at Whole Foods this weekend. Love the simple preparation!
    KLN (aka, Knees)