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Middle Eastern Barramundi Fish Cakes

This Middle Eastern Za’atar, fresh cilantro, parsley, and mint flavor these fabulous (and easy!) fish cakes. The clean buttery taste of barramundi is the perfect counterpoint to the complexity of these herbs and spices. This zesty update on one of the world’s favorite dishes is sure to brighten up your summer party!

Prep Time

    •    Prep time: 20 minutes
    •    Cook time: 15 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves 4


    •    2 tbsps mint
    •    1/2 tsp za'atar
    •    1/4 cup parsley
    •    3 tbsps olive oil
    •    1 tbsp lemon zest
    •    1 tbsp lemon juice
    •    1/4 cup tahini paste
    •    2 tbsps parsley, roughly chopped
    •    3 x 6 oz barramundi skinless fillets
    •    2 tbsps cilantro (coriander herb), roughly chopped


  1. Make the Green Tahini Sauce. Put the parsley, cilantro, and mint in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the tahini, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water until smooth. Continue blending, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached (thin enough to drizzle but not watery). Set aside.
  2. Rinse out the food processor. Add the cilantro, parsley, mint, and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add 1/3 of the barramundi, lemon zest, za’atar and pulse until roughly chopped and combined (you want it to be well mixed but not a smooth paste).
  4. Remove from the food processor and fold into remaining 2/3 pounds of barramundi that have been chopped into a 1/4inch dice.
  5. Form into 1-1/2-inch patties.
  6. Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the patties, working in batches if necessary, and fry for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until lightly browned and cooked through.
  7. Transfer barramundi cakes to a paper towel-lined plate as they finish cooking.
  8. Serve the fish cakes as an appetizer with the green tahini sauce drizzled over or on the side for dipping. Plate with fresh herbs and lemon. To make it a full meal, serve with couscous or freekeh and a simple salad of chopped tomato and cucumber.

This great family recipe is thanks to The Better Fish at


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