Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe (2024)

Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe (1)

In This Article

  • Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe
  • Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe
  • What Is Barramundi?
  • What Does Barramundi Taste Like?
  • How To Cook Barramundi
  • Key Ingredients
  • Key Tips For Success
  • Commonly Asked Questions
  • What To Serve With Barramundi
  • More To Make And Eat
  • Also Try These Shrimp Kabobs
  • Did you make this?
  • Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe Recipe

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe

Lemon butter sauce on seafood is a classic combination for a good reason. There’s just something magical about that buttery lemon and garlic sauce blanketing tender fish that makes us eager for seconds. This recipe pairs this classic combo with Barramundi, a mild, white-fleshed fish that’s super easy-to-cook.

Packed with healthy omega-3s, lean protein, and calcium, Barramundi is the perfect fish for a light, healthy meal. This dish also comes together in just about 20 minutes, making it an ideal easy dinner recipe for weeknights.

We love serving this easy Barramundi dish with our favorite salads and rice sides. It’s always a crowd pleaser at family dinners, even for the ones who aren’t fish fans – yet.

What Is Barramundi?

Barramundi may not be a fish you’ve cooked with before. It’s not as common in the U.S. as tuna, salmon, or trout; but once you try it, you’ll be hooked (no pun intended). The mild flavor of this fish is so versatile. It’s absolutely delicious with a variety of dishes.

The word “Barramundi” comes from the Australian Aboriginal language translating to, “large-scaled fish”. These fish are native to the Indo-West Pacific Region near India and Australia, but are farmed throughout the world. Due to their hardiness, large size, and mostly vegetarian diet, Barramundi farming is becoming more and more widespread making it easy to find these fish in grocery stores.

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What Does Barramundi Taste Like?

The taste and texture of these fish are similar to grouper, striped bass, and snapper. Barramundi are white-fleshed fish and have a flaky texture when cooked. The filets come out mild, buttery, and rich.

This is definitely the fish for people who are more sensitive to any fish flavor that varieties like tuna and salmon may sometimes have. Barramundi doesn’t taste or smell fishy at all. It’s the perfect option for any recipe that calls for white fish.

How To Cook Barramundi

Pretty much any method from pan frying to steaming works well with this fish. Barramundi’s mild taste and medium/high fat content make it not only versatile, but also hard to burn. So, if you’re not used to cooking fish, this is a great one to start with.

In this recipe, we pan fry the fillets in olive oil on a cast iron skillet. It only takes 3 minutes on each side before it’s ready to enjoy!

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  1. Mix ingredients for lemon butter sauce and cook until bubbly.
  2. Pat Barramundi filets dry and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet and place Barramundi fillets skin side down on the pan.
  4. Gently flip fish and cook for 3 more minutes.

Key Ingredients

  • Butter – We like to use salted butter in this recipe for extra flavor. The fat in the butter balances the lemon for harmony of freshness and richness to this recipe.
  • Garlic Freshly minced garlic elevates almost any meal to the next level. In this dish it plays up the mild taste of the Barramundi perfectly.
  • Basil – Fresh basil not only adds a pop of color, but also brings that hint of sweetness and spiciness that is sure to make your taste buds dance.
  • Lemon Juice – We prefer freshly squeezed lemon juice. This citrus adds that sour, tangy flavor that goes perfect with the basil and butter to bring those summer flavors to the recipe.
  • Lemon Zest – Adding lemon zest to the sauce assures that the lemon flavor won’t be looked over. It’s another fresh, vibrant, and healthy addition.
  • Kosher salt – Make sure you’re using kosher salt for this dish. Fine table salt could result in an outcome that’s too salty.
  • Black Pepper – Freshly ground black pepper gives this dish the slightest hint of earthy, spice that grounds the brighter, lighter ingredients.

Key Tips For Success

One of the great things about this recipe is that it’s super straightforward and simple. To ensure a consistently delicious result, take a look at these tips and tricks for the perfect Barramundi.

  • Clean the fish. Always give your fish filets a good rinse to clean anything off of them. Just make sure to pat them dry thoroughly to ensure they cook properly.
  • Watch the Butter. Make sure to keep an eye on the lemon, butter mixture as it’s cooking. Stir the mixture frequently to prevent it from burning, as butter can burn super fast.
  • Get the best fillets. Try to get Barramundi fillets that are about 1/2″ thick throughout to get the best results with the cooking times listed in this recipe.
  • Cast iron skillet. We love a good cast iron skillet for fish recipes. Not only are these a clean, safe cooking material, but they also help make evenly cooked and perfectly browned fish.
  • Use an oil splatter guard. When cooking the fish in the olive oil, things will get messy. To prevent getting splattered with oil, we like using an oil splatter guard.
  • Let it sit. When cooking fish, it’s important not to move it too much to avoid the fillets breaking. For the best results, only flip your fish fillets once.

Commonly Asked Questions

What kind of fish can I use in place of Barramundi?

A few good substitutes for Barramundi are Snapper, Grouper, Cod, and Sea Bass. Really, any white-fleshed fish with a similar mild flavor and flaky texture will work great with this dish. Just note that Barramundi fillets tend to be thinner than other varieties. So, you may have to adjust the cooking times if you’re using a thicker filet.

Where can I buy Barramundi?

Supermarkets like Whole Foods, Costco, and Sam’s Club usually carry barramundi fillets either fresh or frozen.

Is it okay to use frozen Barramundi?

Absolutely! Barramundi filets are often flash frozen which means that you may actually have a fresher filet when you buy it frozen vs. fresh.

How long does this dish keep?

This barramundi recipe will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. If you want to keep it longer, you can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

Is it safe to buy farm raised barramundi?

Yes! Barramundi tend to be a healthier fish to eat even if they’re farm raised. Because they’re so hardy, farm raised Barramundi won’t usually have as many added antibiotics as other kinds of fish.

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What To Serve With Barramundi

This easy Barramundi goes well with so many different sides. Take a look at some of our favorites!

  • One simple side to serve with this dish is rice. We love Instant Pot Jasmine Rice as an easy, classic option or quick Rice Pilaf for an added punch of flavor.
  • Looking for a fish and chips sort of meal? If you’re wanting even more lemony- goodness, we think these Garlic Roasted Potatoes with Lemon would pair great with this dish. Another quick and easy potato side we love are these mouthwatering Smashed Potatoes.
  • Easy, Perfect Barramundi also pairs well with fresh, vibrant salads. This 20-Minute Lemon Spinach Orzo Recipe, this Peach Caprese Salad, and this Tabbouleh Recipe are all great options to serve alongside this dish.
  • If you’re looking for something sweet to finish off your meal, we’ve got you covered. Sticking with the citrus theme, we love these Key Lime Pie Bars. For a fun-to-make summer dessert, try throwing together this Homemade Mint Chocolate Ice Cream.

More To Make And Eat

  • Easy Lemon Butter Fish in 20 Minutes – Perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner, this lemon butter fish uses firm white fish filets and sauce bursting with flavor. The best part is it only takes 20 minutes!
  • Baked Salmon with Ginger Soy Marinade – This mouthwatering salmon recipe comes together in just 20 minutes. A marinade made from bold ingredients like soy sauce, sesame oil, and pure honey give your taste buds something to remember.
  • Pan Seared Mahi Mahi (with Mango Salsa) – Tender, flavorful, and flaky, mahi mahi is garnished with a fresh and sweet mango salsa for a meal that will have you feeling like you’re on vacation.
  • 15-Minute Steamed Fish – You really can make delicious, healthy steamed fish in the microwave. This Chinese dish is perfect for nights when you’re in a time crunch, and it’s bursting with flavor.
  • Best Branzino Recipe – You’re going to love this easy preparation of branzino!

Also Try These Shrimp Kabobs

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Did you make this?

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Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe

5 from 91 ratings

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This Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe has all the perks of a healthy, seafood dinner and comes together in just 20 minutes. Made with a lemon, butter sauce and garnished with fresh basil, this vibrant meal will be a new favorite!

Prep Time: 15 minutes mins

Cook Time: 6 minutes mins

Total Time: 21 minutes mins

Servings: 4

Author: Amy Dong


For Lemon Butter Mixture

  • 2 TB butter, salted, softened
  • 2 TB garlic, freshly minced
  • 1 TB basil, packed, freshly chopped
  • 1 TB lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 TB lemon zest
  • tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground

For the Fish

  • 2-4 TB olive oil
  • 4 barramundi fillets, 1/2" thick, 5-6 oz. each*
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Optional Garnishes

  • Freshly chopped basil
  • Lemon slices


  • Make Lemon Butter Mixture: in a small pan, combine all Lemon Butter Mixture ingredients. Heat sauce just until bubbly, stirring often. Once bubbly, turn heat off and keep warm.

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  • Use clean paper towels to pat-dry all excess moisture from the fish fillets. This step is important to proper cooking, so be sure to dab off as much moisture as you can. Evenly sprinkle top of fillets with a thin layer of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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  • In a large pan* heat 2 TB olive oil over high heat. Once oil is smoking and sizzling hot, carefully add 2 of the fish fillets, skin side down, and let cook undisturbed for 3 minutes – do not move fish around.

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  • Use large metal spatula to carefully flip fish fillets over for another 3 minutes, without moving fish around. Gently lift cooked fish onto a serving plate and keep warm. Repeat with other 2 fish fillets.

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  • Just before serving, re-warm the Lemon Butter Mixture if needed, and evenly distribute over the fish fillets. Serve with freshly chopped basil and lemon slices for garnish.

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  • Barramundi fillets tend to be thinner than other fish, so try to get fillets that are as close to ½” thick throughout.
  • You can substitute freshly chopped chives for basil.
  • Be sure to use kosher salt, as kosher salt is much less salty per volume than fine table salt.
  • Use an oil splatter guard to prevent hot oil from splattering during cooking.
  • Use a large metal spatula for easy flipping of fish fillets.
  • We use a large cast iron pan for nice, even browning.
  • Serve with a fresh, colorful Caprese Salad or any crisp salad that you like. This dish pairs well with rice and potatoes or orzo.
  • If you want a bit more color on the plate, garnish with sliced cherry tomatoes.
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ❤️

Click here to add your own private notes.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 203IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Course: Dinner, fish, Main Course, seafood

Cuisine: American, Asian

Diet: Gluten Free

Method: pan fry, Skillet, Stovetop

Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe (2024)


What is the best cooking method for barramundi? ›

Heat a medium frying pan (nonstick if you have it) on medium-high heat. Pan fry one side for about 3 to 4 minutes. The edges should turn golden brown. Flip and cook the other side 1-2 more minutes or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily.

How is barramundi prepared traditionally? ›

Today, the more traditional Australian take on barramundi involves a similar technique: Wrap it in paperbark, a native plant that lends a smoky flavor. Add in lemon, herbs, and macadamia nuts for more flavor. Then throw it over some hot coals, or “on the barbie,” as Aussies like to say.

What is the best food for barramundi? ›

Fish meal is widely used in barramundi feeds and can support good growth at inclusion levels of up to 60 percent. Meat meals have also been successfully used at inclusion levels of 40 percent.

What temperature do you cook barramundi to? ›

Cook until golden brown and barramundi reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, 3-4 minutes per side.

How do you tell when barramundi is fully cooked? ›

The best way to tell if your fish is done is by testing it with a fork at an angle, at the thickest point, and twist gently. The fish will flake easily when it's done and it will lose its translucent or raw appearance. A good rule of thumb is to cook the fish to an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees.

Why is my barramundi rubbery? ›

Overcooking: When the fish is fried for too long, the heat causes the proteins to break down and the texture becomes rubbery.

What is barramundi called in America? ›

Internationally, barramundi are also known as Asian sea bass, giant perch, or giant sea perch. Barramundi have not always had such an iconic name in Australia, and were once known as Asian sea bass. In the 1980's, barramundi was appropriated for marketing reasons.

Is barramundi good or bad for you? ›

Is Barramundi Healthy? Barramundi is a healthy type of fish to start including in your diet. It's nutritious sea bass with great texture, taste, and nutrition. Barramundi is low in fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids, making it a great source of essential nutrients.

Can you overcook barramundi? ›

If you're following a recipe take note of the recommended cook time so that your fish doesn't turn out too dry (perfectly cooked fish is moist). One of the reasons people, and we, love barramundi is because of its moderate fat content, which makes it very difficult to overcook.

Is barramundi healthier than salmon? ›

Is barramundi healthier than salmon? Salmon and barramundi are both great options as part of a healthy lifestyle! While barramundi has half the calories of Atlantic farmed salmon, both fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which play a vital role in brain and heart health.

What pairings with barramundi? ›

  • So, you've decided that you're going to cook some Aussie barra. ...
  • What Vegetables Go Best with Barramundi.
  • Carrots & Sweet Potato. ...
  • Steamed Green Beans. ...
  • Cauliflower. ...
  • Leek. ...
  • If you're looking for some easy and DELICIOUS recipes, look no further than our FREE recipe cookbook created by Australia's best chefs.

Is barramundi high in mercury? ›

Does Barramundi contain mercury? The Better Fish® Barramundi has consistently tested below detectable limits for mercury (average of 0.02 ppm). The levels allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is 1 ppm. Wild-caught and farm-raised Barramundi contain different mercury levels due to their very different diets.

Does barramundi need to be fully cooked? ›

Wild barramundi has a great flavour and texture, but you must take care when cooking it, as it is a really dense-fleshed fish that needs to be cooked through.

Is barramundi meant to be pink when cooked? ›

Barramundi raw flesh is pearly pink; cooked meat is white. Barramundi has a firm, moist texture and large flakes. The fish is prized for its sweet, buttery flavor.

Is barramundi hard to cook? ›

If you are not yet a master chef in the kitchen, and tend to burn your salads, do not fear cooking barramundi! While fish can sometimes be tricky to get right, the barramundi is very forgiving, no matter what cooking method you are using.

What techniques do barramundi use? ›

Casting and jigging are the most popular techniques when going after Barramundi because they're the most fun and productive. You can cast from a boat or from land, though from a boat is usually more successful. The most important thing to remember with casting is to change up the speed of your retrieve frequently.

What is the secret to catch barramundi? ›

Vibration is also key—Barramundi are attracted to movement, so it's important to use a lure that creates a lot of vibration. This will help to attract the fish and get them to bite. Koala Pro Tip: When lure fishing, retrieve slowly. Barramundi are lazy ambush predators that wait for an easy target to pass by.

Can you pan fry frozen barramundi? ›

Baking, poaching or steaming are the best methods for cooking fish if you're skipping the thawing process. Avoid pan-frying as the fish may release too much water or the flesh won't be evenly cooked. If you're following a recipe, you may add a few minutes to make sure the frozen fish is fully cooked.


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