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An Australian fisherman has told me that there is little to beat the thrill of landing a rod-caught barramundi, such is the fight they put up. Barramundi are one of the best-known game fish of the Asian continent and their popularity has now spread to the United Kingdom where it is successfully farmed.


Probably best known as an Australian fish they are highly prized in Thailand, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia and are also farmed in the United States. They are capable of growing to a huge length, as much as two metres, feeding on molluscs, crustaceans and even young barramundi, becoming a male at three years before turning female at five years.

I enjoy cooking barramundi, their eating quality is excellent and they are perfect for Asian seafood recipes where they are steamed, fried, baked, grilled and poached. Its soft white flesh looks stunning simmering in a red curry or in a clear Thai Tom Yum soup where it is the perfect foil for lemongrass, lime leaves and chilli.

It used to be that Barramundi was only available to UK chefs in skinless pre-portioned fillets (a crime as any good chef will tell you) but now, thanks to UK farming methods we can serve whole fish for one to two persons. This way cries out for the brilliant steaming and roasting methods of the Chinese and Thais in particular where the fish is served with its cooking ingredients as the garnish. Generally speaking this can be strips of ginger, chilli, garlic, shallots and lemongrass with soy or fish sauce as both basting agent and accompanying sauce.


Content and picture Miles Collins