AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards
Wild Barramundi with Pearl Barley Risotto - Chef Recipe Richard Kerr

Wild Barramundi with Pearl Barley Risotto - Chef Recipe Richard Kerr


1kg wild barramundi fillet
250g pearl barley
1L vegetable stock
1 medium zucchini
1 cup frozen peas
1 Tbs chopped parsley
1 Tbs chopped tarragon
1 Tbs chopped chives
250g grated Parmesan
350g diced butter
2 limes
1 lemon
1 large garlic clove
1 punnet micro herbs
Salt and pepper to taste


Check fish fillet for bones or scales, remove if any found.

Cut the hard part of bell off using a sharp Chef’s knife.

Cut tail end of fillet off on the same angle as the top part of the fillet.

Portion cleaned fillet into four pieces – aim for 160g-180g.

Turn portions over and score the skin by making 5 thin slices down the skin 2mm deep.

Place fish skin side down on a chux or cloth and place in the fridge.

Wash pearl barley under cold running water until water is clear.

Drain barley.

In a 3L pot, place vegetable stock and barley on heat. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer.

Cook until barley is tender. Drain and retain the cooking liquid. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Dice zucchini to a similar size as a pea. Chop herbs and mix. Chop garlic, half limes, zest lemon.

Dice butter and grate Parmesan cheese.

Heat a large oven proof frying pan, add enough olive oil to coat the whole pan in 1 mm of oil, season skin side of the fish with fine salt and place in smoking hot pan, skin side down. Season flesh with salt and pepper.

The fish will curl up, when this happens gently push down on the middle of the fillet so all the skin is in contact with the pan.

Reduce to medium heat and continue to seal, when you can see the fish is not stuck to the pan and can slide around, add lime halves flesh side down and place in pre-heated oven at 180 C fan forced for 4-5 minutes.

In a separate pot, add barley and 500mL of cooking liquid, bring to the boil. Add zucchini and peas, reduce until most of the liquid has gone.

Add Parmesan, 250g butter and herbs (reserve 1 tablespoon for beurre noisette). Stir until everything incorporated, season to taste.

Plating: Portion risotto over plates or pasta bowls, take fish out of oven and turn onto flesh side just for a few seconds before serving.

Place crispy skin side up on centre of each plate of risotto, charred lime next to fish.

In the fish pan on a high heat, add 100g butter. When nut brown in colour, add garlic, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon on chopped herbs. Squeeze in juice from lemon.

Spoon beurre noisette over fish and risotto and garnish with micro herbs.

Photo Credits: Kate Scott