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Cone Bay Saltwater Barramundi with Spanner Crab Parcel; Sage and Eschalot Cream

Prep Time

    •    Prep time: 10 minutes
    •    Cook time: 25 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves 4


    •    4 x 200g barramundi fillets

For the spanner crab parcels:

    •    a little olive oil
    •    salt and pepper
    •    250ml dry white wine
    •    400ml pouring cream
    •    5 eschalots finely sliced
    •    salt and pepper to taste
    •    sage and eschallot cream
    •    1 wom bok (Chinese cabbage)
    •    1 bunch sage roughly chopped
    •    1 bunch chives, finely chopped
    •    200g picked spanner crab meat

For red oil:

    •    100ml olive oil
    •    4 tbsps tomato paste
    •    4 cloves peeled garlic
    •    1 punnet picked mache baby herbs
    •    Enoki mushrooms, deep-fried until crispy


For spanner crab parcel:

  1. Pick 4 nice green wom bok leaves. Plunge into salted boiling water for 30 seconds. Then plunge into ice water to refresh.
  2. When cool, dry them off with a tea towel and set aside.
  3. Mix spanner crab meat with chopped chives, and season with salt and pepper. Place 50g of spanner crab/chive mix on each wom bok leaf, and wrap up into a parcel and place them aside.

For sage & eschalot cream:

  1. Start by sautéing the fine sliced eschalots and sage in a pan using a little olive oil – cook until eschalots become transparent.
  2. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce until almost gone. Then add the cream, bring just to the boil, then turn down. Allow to reduce slowly, until thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then strain.
  3. Set aside, keeping warm.

For red oil: Place tomato paste in a saucepan with garlic and olive oil and cook on a very low heat for 45 minutes or until oil turns red. When oil is red, strain and discard the rest. Set red oil aside to use as garnish later on.

Serving and plating:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 C. Season barramundi portions with olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  2. Pre-heat large oiled pan until just smoking. Place barramundi in the pan, skin side down and cook on high for 1 minute.
    Put in pre-heated oven for 5-6 minutes, or until just cooked. Place spanner crab parcels in steamer and steam for 5 minutes.
  3. Put 30mL of the sage and eschalot cream on bottom of each plate (use a bowl plate like a pasta plate, rather than a flat plate).
  4. Place the crab parcel on top of the sauce. Drizzle red oil around, on top of the sauce using a teaspoon. Place barramundi on top of crab parcel, skin side up.
  5. Top the fish with fried enoki mushroom and place sprigs of mache around the plate in top of the sauce.

This great family recipe is thanks to AGFG at


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