I've never been much of a fish person. When I was a kid, I wouldn't touch seafood with a ten-foot pole. Then I gradually got into it, starting with crab and shrimp, and then meatier fishes like yellowfin tuna and salmon. I continued to avoid white fishes though - probably going to sound weird, but I found them to be too wet in terms of texture (my pickiness has always stemmed from texture, not flavor). However, when we spotted a bag of barramundi on a recent shopping trip, I did a quick Google and decided it was time to branch out.
Another thing I'm pretty clueless about is cooking fish - I've baked plenty of salmon fillets, but that's about the extent of my expertise, and it's not exactly hard. The fillets were super thin, so we didn't want to attempt to throw it on the grill either. So I gamely decided to try my hand at pan searing.
Turns out it was super easy! I used a nonstick skillet with just a touch of olive oil, and cut the fish fillet into two portions for easier flipping. It was done in about five minutes, and the result was amazing - the fish was meatier than I expected it to be, and it held up really well. With the quick fruit salsa I threw together as a topping, it made for a delicious, colorful and healthy meal.
Pan-Seared Barramundi with Pineapple Strawberry Basil Salsa
- 2 portions barramundi
- Seafood seasoning of choice (I used a zesty lemon blend)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 5 strawberries
- 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 basil leaves
Dice the strawberries and pineapple and stir together in a bowl. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and add to the mix. Zest the lemon on top, then squeeze on fresh juice to taste. Drizzle with the honey and stir to combine. Set aside
Dry the fish fillets and season on both sides. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the fish to the skillet and cook until it reaches 140, about 2-3 mins per side for a 1-inch thick fillet.
Top the fish with the strawberry pineapple basil salsa and serve immediately.