Near my work there is a lovely little cafe that makes the most amazing meals. They do a baked barramundi that has all these complex flavours in it and I have been eating it at least twice per week for 3 weeks in order to figure it out….I finally determined that one of the secret ingredients was definitely tahini (sesame) paste. The rest of it was easy, there was soy, garlic, chilli, and green onions. At the cafe down the road i would hazard a guess that they marinate the fish and then take it out and wipe off the marinade before baking, but i chose a different route and I”m so glad that I did.
Firstly, I used barramundi fillets but any strong white flesh fish will do, get your fish monger to fillet them with skin OFF to maximise the exposure to the incredible marinade. Make the marinade in a separate bowl, then immerse the fish pieces in there – ideally overnight, but if all you can do is a few hours it will still be pretty darn good! Then when you place the fish in a baking dish make sure some of marinade remains on the fish, it will continue to infuse the fish with flavour as it heats up and cooks and it doubles as an INCREDIBLE tasting sauce. I would, without exaggeration, say this is one of my most favourite recipe creations all year. I would serve it with a white rice and salad, and you can adjust the amount of chilli to suit your family’s tastes. My recipe ended up being very spicy indeed but even my daughters finished theiri plates (and several glasses of water) because it was just THAT GOOD.
From my family to yours…HAPPY COOKING!!
4 larger barramundi fillets, skin off
1/2 cup tahini paste
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 green onions, sliced finely
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne chilli pepper (optional, adjust to suit your family)
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
6 tsp minced garlic (I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Combine all the ingredients except the fish in a bowl and stir until a smooth paste forms;
2. Test the marinade for salt and pepper and adjust seasonings
3. Immerse the fillets into the marinade and place, covered, in the fridge overnight (or at least a few hours)
4. Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius.
remove the fillets from the marinade and place in a baking dish, spooning a small amount of tahini sauce on top of each fillet. Bake the filets for 12-15 minutes, until the flesh is cooked and flakes easily
5. Serve with boiled white rice and a fresh garden salad, garnished with sliced green onions.
Happy cooking everyone xx