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Wild barramundi with coconut broth

When in season, wild barramundi should always find it's way onto your menu! If it’s unavailable, another thick, fleshy white fish will do.


  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 4cm lemongrass, white part only, sliced finely

  • 3cm piece of galangal, grated

  • 3 shallots, peeled and sliced

  • 2 coriander roots, chopped

  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced finely

  • 1 small red chilli, seeded and chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • .5 teaspoon caster sugar

  • 3 oyster mushrooms, sliced

  • 3 tablespoons enoki mushrooms,

  • chopped

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 50ml vegetable oil

  • 250g wild barramundi fillet

  • 12 sugar snap peas, cleaned

  • 1 handful coriander leaves

  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced finely

  • .5 large red chilli, sliced


  • 1.

    In a small saucepan, bring coconut milk and stock to the boil.

  • 2.

    Add lemongrass, galangal, shallots, coriander root, lime leaves, chilli, fish sauce and sugar.

  • 3.

    Simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Taste the mixture and add more fish sauce, chilli or sugar to suit your taste.

  • 4.

    Blend the mixture using a stick blender or blender, then strain through a colander or sieve. Discard pulp.

  • 5.

    Add the mushrooms and simmer for a further 2 minutes, then add the lime juice and set aside until required.

  • 6.

    Pre-heat oven to 220ºC. Heat a little oil in a heavy-based frypan, and when it starts to smoke, place the barramundi into the pan, skin-side down. Cook for approximately 30 seconds then transfer the pan to oven and cook until the fish is ready, approximately 6 minutes (times will vary depending on the thickness off the fish).

  • 7.

    Transfer fish to a serving bowl.

  • 8.

    Bring the broth back to a simmer, add the sugar snap peas and simmer for another minute, ladle the broth over the barramundi and garnish with coriander, kaffir lime leaves and chilli.


Extract from 'The Red Spice Road Cookbook', RRP $49.95. © John McLeay 2010

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