Firedoor chef Lennox Hastie’s top tips for BBQ barramundi
January 22, 2023
Summer is in full swing, and on these wonderous long and hot days nothing beats a weekend or weeknight BBQ. It’s so simple to throw some fresh barra portions or a whole plate sized fish on the barbie and team it with a super salad.
Firedoor Chef Lennox Hastie has shared his top tips for barbequing barramundi – these four steps will help you get the ultimate crispy skin barra and maximum flavour to your favourite fish each and every time.
Firstly, you need to make sure the skin of the barramundi is beautifully dry. The best way to dry it out starts the night before you plan on cooking it. Simply unwrap the fish from any plastic or wrapping it’s in, pat it down with some paper, and leave it sitting on a plate in the fridge, uncovered overnight.
The next day allow the fish to come to room temperature before you grill it, you’ll find the pockets of fat in the skin will render down to give you the beautiful crispy skin that barramundi is renowned for. This will require you taking your fish out of the fridge for a short time before cooking. Just be mindful not to leave it out of the fridge for more than one hour on a hot day pre-cooking, and don’t leave your barra sitting in direct sunlight.
Speaking of skin, be sure to keep the skin on your barra, you’ll get a lot more flavour that way & it is also helping to protect the more delicate flesh of the fish from the hot BBQ.
Aim to cook the barramundi 80% of the time on the skin side and 20% on the flesh side just to finish. Cooking time will depend on whether you have a whole fish or a fillet.
To inspire you here is Lennox Hastie’s recipe for Barramundi, charred greens, and anchovy dressing which can be cooked on the BBQ or over an open fire.
BARRAMUNDI, CHARRED GREENS, AND ANCHOVY DRESSING
- 1 fillet of barramundi, approx. 800g
- Sea salt
- 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 lemon
- ½ bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked, washed and dried
- ¼ cup of fresh capers, washed
- 1 tin (47g) anchovy fillets
- 20ml red wine vinegar
- 1 medium sized clove of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 200ml extra virgin olive
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Remove your fish from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature
- Blend the parsley in a blender along with the garlic and 1 large ice cube.
- Add the capers, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon zest and anchovy fillets and process on medium high until combined. Be careful not to overwork it or it will discolour.
- With the blender running on medium speed, gradually add the 200ml olive oil in a slow and steady stream. Scrape down the sides with a spatula to ensure the mixture is evenly combining. Turn the machine to high and process for 10 seconds. Season to taste and reserve
- Light your fire or BBQ. If cooking with fire, spread the embers evenly across the base of the grate and set your grill rack approximately 12-15 cm above the embers.
- Season the flesh side of the fish with some sea salt and grill (skin side down) above evenly distributed embers for 8 to 10 minutes, turning the barramundi during the last 2 minutes of cooking to set the protein.
- Transfer the fish to a clean tray, season with remaining sea salt, a squeeze of lemon juice from the lemon and just a drizzle from the 100ml portion of olive oil and leave in a warm place to rest for 2-3 minutes
- Spray the kale lightly with remainder of the 100ml olive oil and grill for 2 minutes until crisp and lightly charred, season with sea salt, and remove to a clean bowl, dressing with resting juices from the fish
- Serve the fish with the grilled kale and anchovy dressing, decorate with lemon.