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Crispy skin barramundi fillet with char-grilled marron

Served with chilli, mango and fresh herb salad and Vietnamese style dressing. By Matt Swaffield.


  • 4 x 220g barramundi portions, trimmed and scored

  • 6 live marron (yabbies or scampi are also a suitable substitute)

  • Salad

  • ¼ bunch Thai basil

  • ¼ bunch Vietnamese mint

  • ¼ bunch coriander

  • 2 long red chillies, finely sliced

  • 1 firm ripe mango, diced

  • ½ cucumber, deseeded and diced

  • ¼ red onion, finely diced

  • Dressing

  • 2 long red chillies

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar, grated

  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

  • 1 lime, juice of

  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil

  • Other

  • Vegetable oil

  • Sea salt


  • Marrons,/b>:

  • 1.

    Euthanize the marron then cut the marron in half length ways.

  • 2.

    Wash out the internals under cold running water and leave on a sheet of paper towel to dry in the fridge.

  • Dressing:

  • 1.

    Place the chilli, garlic and palm sugar into a morta and pestle and grind to a paste.

  • 2.

    Add all the wet ingredients and mix together.

  • 3.

    Taste for correct balance for hot, sour, sweet and salty and adjust to your taste.

  • 4.

    Store in fridge.

  • Salad:

  • 1.

    This can be done hours in advance.

  • 2.

    Pick and wash herbs in cold water, gather all other salad ingredients (keeping separate) and place in fridge for service.

  • Barramundi:

  • 1.

    Just prior to cooking, lightly rub the fish fillets with a little vegetable oil, season with sea salt.

  • To cook dish:

  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 180-200 ̊C and a char grill to medium high.

  • 2.

    Place a large pan on a medium-high heat and drizzle a little oil into the pan.

  • 3.

    Once the oil is hot carefully place the barramundi fillets skin side down into the pan.

  • 4.

    Wait about 15 seconds then lightly press the fillets flat using a spatula or cloth.

  • 5.

    Place barramundi into the oven for 8-12 minutes (this may vary depending on the thickness of the fish and oven temperature).

  • 6.

    Mean while, assemble the salad by gently tossing the herbs, mango, chilli, cucumber and half the dressing in a bowl.

  • 7.

    Lastly, season the marrons, again with a little oil and sea salt.

  • 8.

    Place the marrons flesh side down onto the char grill and leave until most of the shell has gone red.

  • 9.

    Turn and leave for 1 minute more.

  • 10.

    Leave in a warm place to rest.

  • To assemble:

  • 1.

    Place the barramundi to the side of each plate.

  • 2.

    Spoon an even amount of salad onto the plate next to the barramundi.

  • 3.

    Then stack 3 half pieces of marron on top of each plate.

  • 4.

    Spoon over the remaining dressing and serve.

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