Tender barramundi fillets get seared until crisp, then doused with a bight and tangy vinaigrette.
• Prep and cook time: 30 minutes
• Yield: Serves 4
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup sugar
• salt for seasoning
• 4 barramundi fillets
• 3 tbsps vegetable oil
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
• 2 tbsps fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
• 2 tbsps white vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
• 2 tbsps roughly chopped fresh Thai basil (Optional)
• 2 - 4 red Thai chiles, minced (removed seeds for less heat) or 2 tsps Sambal Oelek
- Combine the fish sauce, water, sugar, vinegar, chiles and garlic in a bowl and mix until the sugar is dissolved, then set aside until you’re ready to cook the fish.. This vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered and chilled. When ready to cook the fish, add the cilantro and Thai basil to the vinaigrette and stir to combine.
- Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet (well-seasoned cast iron works best) over medium-high heat. Use paper towels to pat the barramundi fillets very dry, being sure to remove as much moisture as possible. Season both sides with salt.
- When the oil is shimmering and almost smoking, gently place two fillets in the pan. Allow to cook in the hot oil without moving for about 3 minutes. The fish will be ready to flip when it easily releases from the pan. If it sticks, it’s not ready. Lower the heat and give it another minute. Use a fish spatula to gently flip the fillets and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer to a serving plate and repeat with remaining fillets.
- Top each fillet with a few tablespoons of vinaigrette and more herbs if desired. Serve immediately with plain steamed rice and your choice of vegetables.
This great family recipe is thanks to FOOD52 at https://food52.com/recipes/40260-crispy-pan-seared-barramundi-with-fish-sauce-vinaigrette