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Barramundi Recipes: FEGA Barramundi with Coconut-Lemongrass Sauce

Adapted from "Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges" by Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Serves 4

For Crust:
2T unsalted butter
2 fresh red Thai chilies, seeded and finely chopped
½ lemongrass stalk, trimmed to inner stalk and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 C bread crumbs (preferably Panko)
2T fresh mint leaves, minced
2T fresh cilantro leaves, minced
2T fresh Thai basil leaves, minced

For Fish:
2T unsalted butter
4 shallots, sliced
1 T fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 fresh red Thai chili, seeded and finely chopped
¼ C fresh lemongrass (inner stalks), finely chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
1 C dry white wine
½ C coconut milk
1 T + 1 tsp. Fresh lime juice
1 tsp. Nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
Four 6oz. boneless Fega Barramundi fish fillets
Salt (preferably fine sea salt)
Freshly cracked pepper

1. To Make the Crust Mix: Put half the butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the chilies, lemongrass, garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the bread crumbs and remaining butter to the mixture and sauté until the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 4 minutes. When the mixture has cooled, mix in the mint, cilantro and basil.

2. Preheat the oven to 450F.

3. Melt 1 T of the butter in a large deep ovenproof skillet that can later be covered over medium heat. Add the shallots, ginger, chili, lemongrass, lime leaves and salt to taste and cook until shallots are softened. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Then add the wine and bring to a boil.

4. Cover the skillet and transfer to the oven. Poach the fish until a knife can pierce through the meat easily (about 10–15 minutes). Remove from the oven and switch oven to broil.

5. Transfer the fish to a baking sheet and top each fillet with a thick layer of the crust mix and small nuggets of the remaining tablespoon of butter. Crisp under the broiler just until the bread crumbs color, 1–2 minutes. Lightly season with salt to taste.

6. To finish, put the skillet with the remaining liquid over medium heat and add the

Baked FEGA Barramundi with Fennel and Capers

Serves 4

2 bulbs fennel (with fronds)
1 leek, white part only thickly sliced
1 large carrot, julienned
2 T olive oil
2 T capers, rinsed and drained
1 shallot, finely chopped
Four 6 oz. each Fega Barramundi fillets
1–2 bay leaves
1 oz. unsalted butter
4 slices lemon
¾ C fish stock (can substitute with chicken stock)
3 T dry Vermouth
2 T heavy cream
2 T chervil, chopped

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut off the fronds from the fennel bulbs and finely chop. Thinly slice the bulbs and put in a flameproof roasting pan with the leek and carrot. Drizzle 1T of olive oil over the vegetables, season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat in the oil and seasoning. Roast for 5-10 minutes.

Mix the chopped fennel fronds with the capers and shallot. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Mix together the stock and vermouth.

Remove the vegetables from the oven, stir well and reduce oven temperature to 325F. Scatter the caper/shallot mixture over roasted vegetables. Lay the seasoned Fega Barramundi fillets on top. Then place the bay leaves, butter and lemon slices on top of fish fillets.

Pour stock and vermouth over the fish. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the top of the roasting pan with foil. Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Lift the fish onto a serving platter. Transfer the vegetables to the stovetop and heat for a few minutes or until the juices bubble and reduce. Add the cream and cook for 1 minute then stir in the chervil and season to taste. Spoon the vegetables on the platter, top with the fish and pour over a little of the juice. Serve immediately.

Note: Fega Barramundi can be used in any recipe calling for a white fish such as cod, bass or haddock, or tropical fish such as red snapper, which it very much resembles.

FEGA Barramundi in Thai Green Curry

Adapted from Luna 2 Resort in Bali

Serves 2-4

2/3 cup (150ml) fresh coconut cream or 1/3 cup (100ml) coconut oil
3 tablespoons Green Curry Paste (can be found in Asian groceries)
4 Kaffir lime leaves
1/3 cup (100g) nam pla fish sauce (found in Asian groceries)
½ cup (100g) shaved palm sugar
1 1/4 cups (300ml) coconut milk
1 apple eggplant or long eggplant, sliced
2 green Thai chilies, seeded and sliced
1/3 cup (50g) bamboo shoot, sliced
4 baby corns, halved
Two 10oz (285g) Fega Barramundi skinless, boneless fillets
½ cup (20g) Thai basil leaves, chopped

Heat a heavy based pan and add the coconut cream or oil. If using the coconut cream, keep cooking and stirring until it separates before you add the curry paste. If using the oil, fry the paste until fragrant and the oil is released.

Add the lime leaves and stir into the paste. Add the fish sauce and palm sugar moisten with coconut milk and bring to a boil. Taste for seasoning at this point if needed.

Add the eggplant, chilies, bamboo shoot, corn and fish. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Fold or stir through the basil, remove from the heat and spoon into a serving bowl.

Serve with steamed Jasmine rice.

Note: You can adapt this recipe with other vegetables if desired. Use whatever is fresh and seasonal.

Note: Fega Barramundi can be used in any recipe calling for a white fish such as cod, bass or haddock, or tropical fish such as red snapper, which it very much resembles.

FEGA Barramundi with Lemon Butter

Serves 4

Four 6oz each Fega Barramundi fillets (skin on or off)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1–2 T fresh basil, chopped (or 3/4 tsp dry)

For the Fish:
Rinse fillets and pat dry with paper towel. Spray fillets with canola or olive oil. Sauté the fillets on high heat for three minutes, skin-side up. Flip and cook for one more minute. Transfer to serving dish.

For the Sauce:
Gently sauté the garlic in butter for about two minutes. Stir in salt, lemon juice and basil. Remove from heat and spoon over fillets immediately before serving. Serve on a bed of lightly steamed young green beans and add chopped, fresh tomatoes for color.

Serve immediately.

Note: You can change the flavor of the sauce by substituting the basil with other herbs such as a mixture of chopped parsley, chives and chervil. Or replace with fresh chopped tarragon.

Note: Fega Barramundi can be used in any recipe calling for a white fish such as cod, bass or haddock, or tropical fish such as red snapper, which it very much resembles.

Summer Braised FEGA Barramundi

Adapted from "Passion for Seafood" by Gordon Ramsey

This recipe has all the hallmarks of a sunny Mediterranean dish – plump, flaky fish and fresh, lemon-scented vegetables. All the ingredients are cooked together in a large cast-iron casserole to draw out their flavors and enhance their colors. (A regular oven-proof casserole will work also). This is wonderful served with baby new potatoes and a peppery Arugula salad topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

3T olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced in rings
12 small shallots, halved
8 plum tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and quartered
3-4 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
Large sprig fresh thyme
2 stalks lemon grass, outer leaves removed and cut into 3 sections
1 ½ C (400 ml) Chardonnay or other dry white wine
Four 5 ½ oz (150g) Fega Barramundi fillets
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Place a cast-iron casserole pan on the stove until hot and add the olive oil. Add the onions, shallots, tomatoes, zucchini, bay leaves, thyme and lemon grass and season with salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables start to caramelize.

Pour in the wine, then place in the oven and cook for about ten minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.

Place the Fega Barramundi fillets on top of the vegetables. Spoon over the sauce to coat the fish and lightly season with salt and pepper. Return to the oven and cook for 10–12 minutes until the fish feels just firm when pressed gently.

Remove the fish from the casserole. Spoon the vegetables on to four warmed dinner plates. Set the fillets carefully on top of the vegetables. Trickle over the pan juices and serve.

Note: Fega Barramundi can be used in any recipe calling for a white fish such as cod, bass or haddock, or tropical fish such as red snapper, which it very much resembles.

Fennel Soup with Pan-Roasted FEGA Barramundi

Adapted from "Passion for Seafood" by Gordon Ramsay

A fragrant, creamy soup, this contains cubes of pan-fried Fega Barramundi to add flavor and texture. The distinct aniseed flavor of the fennel is cleverly enhanced with a hint of star anise and perfectly contrasts with the delicate taste of the fish. Slices of warm walnut bread make a delicious accompaniment.

Serves 4

2 T olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1 large bulb fennel, chopped
4 star anise
½ C (100 ml) dry white wine
4 C (1 liter) fish stock (can substitute with chicken broth)
½ C (100 ml) heavy cream
2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
7 oz. (200g) Fega Barramundi fillet, skinned and cut into ½ inch (1cm) cubes
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, heat half the olive oil, then gently sauté the shallot and fennel with the star anise for about ten minutes until softened but not colored. Pour in the wine and cook for about five minutes until well reduced and almost syrupy. Pour in the stock, season and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat. Simmer gently for about 25 minutes.

Remove the star anise and stir in the cream. Simmer uncovered, for about three minutes. Pour into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Pass the purée through a sieve set over a bowl, rubbing with the back of a ladle or a wooden spoon. Pour back into the pan and season to taste. Stir in the dill. Reheat the soup gently, if necessary, and keep warm.

In a non-stick frying pan, heat the remaining oil until it just starts to smoke. Cook the cubes of Fega Barramundi without stirring, until golden brown on the base. Carefully turn them over and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes to brown. Take care not to overcook. Season the fish lightly.

Ladle the soup in four warmed soup plates and spoon the browned cubes of Fega Barramundi into the centre. Serve immediately.

Note: Fega Barramundi can be used in any recipe calling for a white fish such as cod, bass or haddock, or tropical fish such as red snapper, which it very much resembles.

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