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Salted Barramundi w coconut dashi, shaved truffle

Recipe by Dylan Roberts & Charlie Dumpling

Best to start this recipe the day before! The skin and the squid ink crumb will need to be dried in the oven overnight.

  • For Barramundi:
  • 400g coarse rock salt
  • Around a 600-700g fillet barramundi (skin on)
  • 4 zip lock bags
  • For Coconut dashi:
  • 400ml coconut milk (Richmond brand preferable)
  • 5 dried shitake mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1 x 10cm piece of Kombu (wiped with a damp cloth)
  • .25 g Bonito flakes (katsuoboshi)
  • 30g piece of ginger ( peeled and chopped fine)
  • Salt to taste
  • For Squid ink crumb:
  • 100g Panko breadcrumbs ( Japanese breadcrumb)
  • 3 tbs Squid ink mixed with 2 tbs little water
  • 2 toasted nori sheets (blend to a coarse dust in the food blender)(keep half the nori powder for dusting the skin later)
  • Other ingredients:
  • 1 small fresh black truffle
  • 250g bag edamame , podded and roghly chopped
  • 20 pieces of wood sorrel (most likely to be growing around your garden in winter)
  • 100g Butter (diced)
  • 200ml Rice bran oil
  • Murray river Salt flakes
  1. Preheat the oven to around 50-70 degrees.
  2. First you will need to skin the fish.Take a sharp, comfortable knife, preferably longer than the width of the fish.
  3. Lay the fish flat on the board. Starting from the tail hold the blade on a 20 degree angle and pressing firmly on the blade (this will help draw the knife across the skin smoothly ) make an incision separating the skin from the flesh. Now holding the skin in one hand, in a sawing motion slice the skin away from the flesh, use the weight of the fish and pressing firmly on the blade to help ensure the flesh comes away from the skin. You should have a nice fillet and a clean piece of skin with no flesh attached. Alternatively get your fishmonger to do this for you.
  4. Take a baking tray large enough to hold the fish and scatter some of the salt over it. Cut the flesh into 4 even pieces, place it onto the salt and scatter the rest of the salt onto the fish. The fish should be covered with the salt. Place the fish in the fridge and set a timer for 25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile scrape any excess flesh or blood line away from the skin, line another baking tray with glad bake and place the skin flesh side down on the tray.
  6. Leave to dry in the low oven overnight until dry and pliable.
  7. After 25 minutes brush off any salt from the fish. Fill a bowl with cold water and wash the fish in the water,, then pat dry on paper towel. Place a piece of fish into an individual zip lock bag, before sealing lower the bag into the water to get rid of any air in the bag before sealing. Dry the bags and place in the fridge for later.

Squid ink crumb:

  1. You may want to wear rubber gloves for this!
  2. Line a baking tray with glad bake.
  3. In a mixing bowl rub together the squid ink and the breadcrumbs until the ink is well incorporated. Add half the nori powder then spread the crumb over the tray and dry in the oven with the skin overnight until dry.

Coconut Dashi:

  1. Place all the ingredients into a saucepan, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and let simmer for a good 5 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and let the dashi stand for another 10 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and season with salt to taste.

Barramundi cracker:

  1. Cut the dried skin into strips roughly 2 x 4cm.Line a plate with some kitchen paper towel and you will need some kitchen tongs.
  2. Pour the rice bran oil in a pot ensuring the oil doesn’t go any higher than a third of the way up the pot for safety.
  3. Heat the oil to around 200c – 210c using a thermometer. Turn down the heat.
  4. Test the oil by placing a piece of skin into the oil and hold it under with the thongs. It should puff up in around 4-5 seconds.
  5. Place 2-3 pieces at a time into the oil at a time and drain on paper towel.
  6. Season immediately wit the nori powder and a little salt.

To plate:

  1. Have your plates, a tray with paper towel, spoon and pallet knife, truffle, slicer or microplane, and your garnishes ready.
  2. Bring a pot of water big enough for the 4 packets of barramundi to the boil.
  3. Drop the bags carefully into the water and turn down the heat. Simmer for a round 8-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile melt the butter in a small pot, add the edamame beans and warm lightly, season with a little salt.
  5. Warm the coconut dashi.
  6. Take the fish from the bag ensuring its cooked through (lightly pull apart the fish and look at the center).
  7. Drain on the paper towel and scatter with some of the squid ink crumbs.
  8. Spoon some of the edamame on each plate then place the fish on top.Pour some sauce into the base of each plate.
  9. Garnish with the skin, wood sorrel and shaved fresh truffle.


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