This light, mild and delicious fish is easy to prepare, making it an excellent choice for a weeknight dinner.
What does Barramundi taste like?
Barramundi is a light, flaky and mild-tasting fish. It's buttery yet subtle, perfect for the picky eater or those new to fish. The entire family will enjoy it, even the little ones. What's also great about this fish is that it can be defrosted in under 30 min, making it an ideal option for a busy night.
Where can I find Barramundi?
Barramundi can be found at the local fish market or supermarkets like Whole Foods and Costco. The fish is often sold as fresh or frozen fillets. The packets of fish found in the freezer section are usually cleaned and individually sealed, making it easy to defrost just the quantity you need.
I like to keep a bag or two stocked in the freezer. Since the fish is individually wrapped and thin, it is easy and quick to defrost. As a result, it's an easy option for a quick weeknight dinner.
How to defrost fish?
The safest way is to defrost the fish overnight in the fridge by transferring the fish from the freezer to the refrigerator and letting it thaw out overnight. Its recommended to keep the fish in individually sealed packaging to avoid any leaking. When ready to cook, open the packaging, rinse under cold water, pat dry with paper towels, and it's ready for use.
But if pressed for time, another option is to submerge the individually sealed fish packets in cold water in a shallow dish. It should take about 20 to 30 minutes to thaw out, check halfway and change out the cold water if needed. When ready to cook, remove from packaging, rinse in cold water, pat dry. If defrosting via the quick method, use the fish immediately. I don't recommend submerging just the fish without its packaging in the water as it can absorb too much liquid.
Is Barramundi a healthy fish?
Barramundi is a fish low on mercury, toxins, and other contaminants. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids and makes for a great lean protein. It is sustainable, making it great for the environment and a healthy fish option.
How to prepare and cook the fish?
Like many other fish, it can be baked, steamed, grilled, and pan-seared. This recipe is prepared by pan-searing the fish. And don't worry about stinking up the kitchen. It is a mild fish, so it will not have a strong aroma when it hits the pan.
This entire recipe comes together with just 5 ingredients, including the side of vegetables.
- Barramundi Fillets (I like the Australis Brand. It can be found in the supermarket's freezer section. )
- Butter (I prefer to use Kerrygold Salted)
- Fresh Herbs like parsley, cilantro, or dill
- Green beans or asparagus or broccoli
See the recipe card for quantities.
Step by Step
- Check the fish is completely thawed and pat dry with paper towels, removing as much moisture as possible. Season with salt and pepper, or, use a citrus salt seasoning like Borsari Citrus Salt.
- Use a skillet with a large surface bottom that can fit the fillets. Heat the pan over medium-high heat. Add avocado oil, just enough to coat the pan.
- Once the pan is hot, add the fish fillets to the pan and don't touch them—Cook without interruption for about 3 to 4 minutes. Use a fish spatula to gently flip the fillets to the other side. If the fish is sticking and not easily released from the pan, give it another minute or so to cook.
- This step goes quickly, so have all your ingredients like butter, lemon juice, and a small spoon ready. After 2 minutes of cooking the fish on the other side, lower the heat to medium-low. Add butter and lemon juice to the skillet. Tilt the pan to one side, and spoon the melting butter/lemon mixture over the fish using a spoon. Repeat spooning the mixture until the butter is completely melted and the fish is coated in the lemon butter sauce.
5. Remove to a plate and garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro or dill.
6. You can stop here or make a side of vegetables to go with the fish to complete the meal. Add green beans to the hot pan and, using a spatula, mix with the lemon butter sauce left in the pan—season with salt and garlic powder or garlic salt seasoning. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the green beans are a vibrant green. If the green beans are not coated well, add another sliver of butter and the other half of the lemon for extra flavor. Remove to a serving plate and enjoy.
The pan you use can have a significant impact on your recipe. I recommend using the one you are most comfortable with. If you are a novice, stick with using a non-stick pan. If you are more comfortable in the kitchen, a stainless steel pan or a cast-iron skillet works well in this recipe. Just make sure either pan is hot enough before pan-searing the fish.
- Pat dry the fish with a paper towel before pan searing. This will ensure the fish is seared and not steamed. Creating a nice crispy finish.
- For a quick 30 min defrost: Put individually wrapped fish fillets into a flat container filled with cold water. If the fish is not in packets, place it into a sealed plastic bag before submerging it in cold water. The plastic bag will protect the fish from absorbing water.
- The recipe comes together quickly, so have all your ingredients washed and prepped, and ready to go.
Lastly, if you try this recipe, I would love to hear about it! Be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! And if you snapped some photos, tag and share them with me on Instagram.
Barramundi fillet in lemon butter sauce
- 2 Barramundi fillets, fresh or defrosted
- generous pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoon avocado oil
- ½ lemon , juiced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon cilantro or dill, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- ½ lb green beans or haricots verts, trimmed
- ½ lemon (optional), juiced
- ½ tablespoon butter (optional)
To cook fish
- Pat the fish dry with paper towels to remove moisture and season with salt on both sides.
- Heat a skillet with a large surface bottom over medium-high heat. (Use a non-stick, a cast-iron skillet, or stainless steel pan, whichever you feel most confident using.) Add avocado oil, about 2 to 3 teaspoons, or enough just to coat the pan.
- Once the pan is hot, place the fish fillets in the pan and cook without touching or moving them for about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a fish spatula, gently flip the fillets to the other side. If the fish is sticking to the pan, give it another minute to cook. In general, fish is ready to flip when it easily separates from the pan.
- Cook on the other side for about 2 minutes. Add to the pan butter and juice of half a lemon. Tilt the pan to one side, and using a spoon, spoon the melting butter and lemon mixture over the fish, repeating several times. Remove fish to a serving plate and sprinkle with fresh cilantro or dill.
To cook green beans
- In the same hot pan, add green beans. Using a spatula, mix the green beans with the butter and lemon mixture still coating the pan, season with garlic salt or salt and garlic powder. If the green beans appear dry or not coated well, add an optional sliver of butter and ½ lemon to the pan. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the beans are bright green. Remove to a serving plate and enjoy!