For a couple of reasons varying from health to the survival of our planet…we’ve been reducing our meat consumption over the last year or so. So for September 2020, we’ve decided to go pescatarian, focusing on (sustainably sourced*) seafood and plant-based proteins.
*I’ll caveat that the choices being made at the grocery store are as sustainable as I can get my hands on / are within our budget. I’m aware even “better” choices are out there but sometimes our best has to be good enough!
This recipe may look complicated but it isn’t in the least – it comes together very quickly and is a perfect weeknight meal when you’re looking for something to give you a health kick! Honestly – the naughtiest thing on the dish is that the optional Sriracha is not homemade…!
The mango topping is totally optional but provides a really fresh kick to the dish. If you can’t find fresh mango, defrosted would work perfectly well too.
Pan-Seared Barramundi with Roast Veg. and Mango Sauce!
- Small saucepan
- Large frying pan
- Roasting tin
- Large, flat serving bowl
- 250 g Barramundi fillet Skin-on preferably; will serve two people – double up on the fish if serving 3-4 – the sides are adequate!
- Olive oil
- Coarse sea salt and black pepper
- 1/2 Butternut squash (medium-sized) Or substitute pumpkin
- 1 Brown onion
- 1 Red onion You can do two of the same colour onions or reduce to a single one if you're not as nuts for onions as Mr. dB!
- 2 Cloves, garlic
- 4 Fresh rosemary and thyme stems Either/or/both!
- 2 Kale stems (large) Two large handfuls of leaves after removing the stems
- 100 g Chestnut/brown button mushrooms
- 1 tbsp Walnuts Optional but recommended
- 150 g Couscous Plus up to 1 cup water
- 2 Fresh or dried apricots No need to rehydrate if using dried
- 1/2 tbsp Each sunflower, pumpkin seeds Optional but recommended
- 1 Stalk fresh parsley Optional
- 1-2 Mangoes, fresh Or equivalent frozen
- 4-5 Fresh mint leaves
- Sriracha or fresh red or green Birdseye chili To taste
- Preheat oven to 180C/360F fan / 200C/390F / Gas Mark 6; line a baking tray with foil.
- Peel the onions, garlic and squash / pumpkin. Slice the large vegetables into roughly inch square wedges, roughly chop the garlic.
- Place the vegetables together into the prepared baking tray. Pour over 1-2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper, add in a couple of sprigs each of rosemary and thyme (on the stem). Roll everything around to coat in olive oil and put the tray into the oven for 45 minutes (turning every 15 minutes) until browning and the squash is softening.
Mango Sauce (Optional but highly recommended!)
- Finely chop the mango and chiffonade the mint leaves (finely slice into ribbons). Place half of the mango and half of the mint into a bowl and crush them together a little to extract the juices and oils. Stir through the remaining mango and mint.
- Season with a pinch of salt and a wee squeeze of sriracha (fresh chili pepper) if using, to taste. If you're keeping this non-spicy, add a pinch black pepper. Set aside to allow the flavours to brew.
Back to the veggies
- Once your veg. has been in the oven for about 30 minutes (and you've tossed them twice), prepare the kale and mushrooms.
- Remove the stems from the kale and roughly chop the leaves into inch-ish squares. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and roughly chop them (no need to be precise, a rough mix gives extra flavour and textures!) Set both aside.
- Roughly chop the walnuts – set these aside with the kale and mushrooms; finely dice the apricots, and roughly chop the parsley if using.
- In a small saucepan, add 1 tbsp olive oil, the couscous, ALMOST all of the water, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Add in the apricots and sunflower/pumpkin seeds if using.
- Very briefly bring the pan to a boil. Turn the heat off, thoroughly stir the couscous, place the lid on the pan and leave the couscous to cook through.
Finishing off the Sides
- Bring your fish out of the fridge to come to room temperature.
- Once your vegetables are ready, heat a large saucepan (the one you intend to use for the fish), heat 1 tbsp olive oil and lightly soften the kale and mushrooms. Mix through the walnuts.
- Turn off the oven, add the kale mix to the squash and toss the veggies to combine. Place them back in the hot oven to keep warm.
- Check your couscous is nice and fluffy, add a little water and put very briefly back on the heat if needed. Stir through the fresh parsley and keep warm.
The Main Event!
- Thoroughly rinse and pat dry your fillet of barramundi and reheat your large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Skin-side up, score very gently through just the skin of your fish, and rub in 1 tsp coarse sea salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
- Add 1 tbsp to the pan and roll around to just cover the bottom. Add your fish, skin side down, and press down firmly at each end to ensure the ends do not curl up.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the outer sides of the fish are beginning to turn white.
- Carefully flip onto the flesh side and turn off the heat.
- In the centre of a large, flat serving bowl, heap your couscous. Surround it with the roasted veggies and top with that beautiful fillet!! Serve the mango sauce on the side to keep that skin nice and crisp.
We would love to hear what you think of our dish.