Cone Bay Saltwater Barramundi

The following recipe for Cone Bay Saltwater Barramundi with Spanner Crab Parcel, Sage and Eschalot Cream is from chef Mark Axisa from Catalina, Rose Bay. Mark is involved with a fundraising event called Table4Ten which is designed to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer in Australia.

Some of Australia’s best restaurants have donated tables of ten for an evening of dining with gourmet food and wine, and while the Hobart and Launceston events have finished, Sydney’s is still to come on November the 8th 2011.

Catalina Barramundi Recipe

Serves 4

You Need:

4 x 200 g Cone Bay saltwater barramundi portions, skin on (ask your fishmonger to portion for you)

Olive oil, salt and pepper

For the spanner crab parcels:

200 g picked spanner crab meat

1 bunch chives, finely chopped

1 wombok (chinese cabbage)

Salt and pepper

For the sage and eschallot cream:

5 eschalots (note: these are the little French onions, not spring onions) finely sliced

1 bunch sage roughly chopped

A little olive oil

250 ml dry white wine

400 ml pouring cream

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnishes:

Red oil: 4 tbsp tomato paste

4 cloves garlic, peleed

100 mls olive oil

Enoki mushrooms, deep-fried until crispy

Baby herbs: 1 punnet picked mache


Spanner crab parcel:

Pick 4 nice green wombok leaves. Plunge into salted boiling water for 30 seconds. Then plunge into ice water to refresh. When cool, dry them off with a tea towel and set aside

Mix spanner crab meat with chopped chives, and season with salt and pepper

Place 50g of spanner crab/chive mix on each wombok leaf, and wrap up into a parcel and place them aside

Sage and eschalot cream:

Start by sautéing the fine sliced eschalots and sage in a pan using a little olive oil – cook until eschalots become transparent

Deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce until almost gone

Then add the cream, bring just to the boil, then turn down. Allow to reduce slowly, until thick

Season with salt and pepper to taste, then strain

Set aside, keeping warm

Red oil:

Place tomato paste in a saucepan with garlic and olive oil and cook on a very low heat for 45 minutes or until oil turns red

When oil is red, strain and discard the rest

Set red oil aside to use as garnish later on.

Putting the dish together and plating:

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius

Season barramundi portions with olive oil, and salt and pepper

Pre-heat large oiled pan until just smoking. Place barramundi in the pan, skin side down and cook on high for 1 minute.

Put in pre-heated oven for 5 – 6 minutes, or until just cooked

Place spanner crab parcels in steamer and steam for 5 minutes.

Put 30 ml of the sage and eschalot cream on bottom of each plate (use a bowl plate like a pasta plate, rather than a flat plate). Place the crab parcel on top of the sauce. Drizzle red oil around, on top of the sauce using a teaspoon

Place barramundi on top of crab parcel, skin side up. Top the fish with fried enoki mushroom and place sprigs of mache around the plate in top of the sauce

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