This Seared Barramundi (Asian Sea Bass) is cooked to perfection in browned butter, and served with a tangy Mustard Caper Sauce. This flavorful dish is ready in under 20 minutes, and is perfect for Date Night!
Have you tried barramundi yet? Have you ever heard of it? Barramundi is a type of Asian Sea Bass that’s begun showing up in U.S. grocery stores recently. It’s native to Southeast Asia and Australia. If you’ve never tasted it, know that It’s a firm white fish, and its mild flavor takes well to marinades or sauces. If you like grouper, striped sea bass, or red snapper– give this fish a try. If you’re not sure whether or not you like those fish, but like trying new seafood options– go ahead and grab some at the store, and try this Seared Barramundi with Mustard Sauce!
Why Buy Barramundi?
Barramundi is gaining popularity, and not just for its flavor. The Monterey Bay Seafood Watch added Barramundi to it’s ‘Best Choice’ list,* and it has been showing up in news stories recently for its ability to be farmed sustainably.
Where can you find barramundi? I buy mine frozen, and currently my favorite brand is Australis, because I’m impressed with the quality of their fish as well as by their sustainable fish farming setup. (Note: This recipe is NOT sponsored by Australis– I just really like their fish!) If you haven’t seen barramundi show up at your regular grocery store, try checking at your local health food stores or at Whole Foods.
Making Seared Barramundi with Mustard Sauce
To make Seared Barramundi with Mustard Sauce, start with thawed barramundi fillets. Your fillets will be pale, translucent white, and it is completely normal for barramundi to have a pale grey hue over part of the fish. That doesn’t mean it has gone bad. (On the other hand, if your barramundi smells incredibly ‘fishy’– it’s probably bad, because raw barramundi doesn’t have a strong scent. Toss it out.)
Dry your fish, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan on medium-high heat with some high-quality butter, and let the butter heat up in the pan until it starts turning brown. (I like to use European butter for this recipe, because it tends to have a higher fat content, and it’s going to make the fish taste even more delicious.)
Once the butter has browned, set the fillets in the pan and sear them until you can see that about 3/4 of the translucent fillet has turned opaque. This will happen from the bottom up, and should take about 3-4 minutes for barramundi, depending on how thick the fillets are. Next, flip the fish, and cook it for another minute. Remove the fish from the pan.
Next, mix together the yogurt, capers, and mustard. Serve this sauce cold with the barramundi. Top your fish with fresh herbs if you want, and eat your fish right away
TIPS FOR SEARING FISH
- If possible, let the fish come to room temperature before searing. Remove fish from the fridge about 20 minutes before you need to cook it, or at the very least take it out of the fridge before you start prepping all your ingredients.
- Dry the fish thoroughly– wet fish will stick to the pan.
- If your fish sticks when you try to flip it, wait and let it cook a little longer.
- If your barramundi has skin, set it in the pan skin-side down. Don’t touch the fish until it’s time to flip– nudging it in the pan will cause the fish to tear.
A Note on Barramundi from Indonesia: Keep in mind that barramundi imported from Eastern Indonesia is currently on the “AVOID” list because of the higher risk of chemicals and pollutant exposure, as well as bad farming practices.
This meal is perfect for Date Night! If you want more ideas, check these out:
Seared Barramundi with Mustard Sauce
- 2 TB butter (high quality butter suggested)
- 2 fillets barramundi, brought to room temperature
- 1/4 tsp pinch sea salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup whole milk plain yogurt
- 1 TB whole grain mustard (prepared)
- 1 TB capers
- fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley or green onions
Heat butter in a heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat until it begins to brown. Meanwhile, pat barramundi dry. Dry it again. (Wet fish won't sear well). Sprinkle both sides of the fish with salt and pepper.
Set fillets on hot pan, and don't touch them. Allow fillets to cook 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. As the fish cooks, the translucent flesh will become opaque from the bottom up. The fish is ready to flip when it has cooked about 2/3 of the way through. (If the fish sticks to the pan, give it about 30 seconds more-- it will release when it's ready.)
Next, use a thin metal spatula to flip the fish over. Cook them approximately one minute, and then remove them from the pan.
Mix all the yogurt, mustard, and capers together. Taste, and add a little caper brine if desired.
Serve fish immediately with sauce and optional garnish.
*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal.