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Pan Fried Barramundi with Lemongrass Consommé, Pancetta & Cabbage.

This stunning dish will leave your guests wanting more and a flavour memory they'll never forget!

Here is what you will need:

Ingredients: serves 4

4 large fillets of Barramundi, Sea Bass or Halibut

Extra virgin oil

Spring onions, enoki mushrooms and fresh dill for garnish

Salt & pepper to season

For the Lemongrass Consommé:

100g dried chanterelle mushrooms

5 stalks of lemongrass, outer leaves removed, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

50g fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

1/2 tsp salt

For the Cabbage & Pancetta:

1 cup diced pancetta

2 cups shredded Chinese Cabbage

2 spring onions, chopped

Extra virgin olive oil


So to start off we are going to make a really quick consommé, so whats a consommé? All it is, is a clear soup made that has no fat or sediment so the final result is this almost transparent liquid that is really rich on flavour.

To start this process I’m adding about a litre of water into a saucepan, then I’m going to add in my dried mushrooms. I love dried mushrooms, they give you a flavour fresh ones just can’t, I’m using chanterelle mushrooms, which have this almost apricot like scent.

I turn my heat on high and add the mushrooms to the water. Stir them around and gently bring to a boil, you’ll notice the colour start to change in the water to this beautiful golden colour. I’m then going to add my lemongrass, which I have just roughly chopped. Now the lemongrass gives the consommé a wonderful fresh flavour that pairs really well with the fish. Stir that through also, and then I’m adding in some sliced ginger and also some minced garlic. Stir this around and the smells coming from this are truly amazing, these flavours are truly enjoying each others company in the hot tub. Season with salt, bring the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes.

Then we are going to strain it and here is what I do, I have some muslin cloth over a jug. The muslin is going to get you that really fine consommé, but just for some backup I also using a fine sieve which catches all the big stuff we don’t want.

Slowly pour the liquid in leaving just the mushrooms, ginger and lemongrass. Discard them and carefully lift off the muslin and there you have a beautiful golden consommé packed with rich flavour with no sediment anywhere. Just leave this aside for now and lets get onto our cabbage.

So over a medium heat, into a pan I’m adding in some extra virgin olive oil. Now I’m adding in some pancetta that I have diced up, you can use just standard bacon but Italian salt cured bacon or pancetta really makes this dish wonderful and less greasy.

Add the pancetta in and cook for around 3 minutes, stirring all the time so you render down that beautiful fat and start to slightly crips up the pancetta.

Next I’m adding in some spring onion, I love the subtle onion flavour it brings to the dish and of course it goes hand in glove with the pancetta. Stir it all around for about a minute, now theres no need to season this with more salt, as the pancetta is quite salty by itself.

Lastly Im adding in some Chinese cabbage or Napa cabbage. Similar to a savoy cabbage, but milder in flavour - I prefer the look of this with those wrinkled soft leaves.

Add the sliced cabbage to the pan and gently cook it for only 1 minute or until it starts to wilt and collapse.

While the cabbage mix has been cooking you’ll also want to start on the fish. I’m using a piece of Barramundi or Asian Sea Bass. But depending where you are around the world use a meaty firm fish like chilean sea bass or halibut.

Oil the fish with extra virgin olive oil on all sides and season with salt and pepper. Really press that oil and seasoning into the skin and flesh of the fish. Make sure you mop up any seasoning or oil on the board too, you want all that flavour on the fish.

Into a pan over a medium heat place the fish skin side down, give the pan a drizzle of olive oil and let the fish cook for 7-8 minutes. 90% of the cooking is done on the skin side, you’ll see the flesh turn white up the sides, then gently turn the fish over and cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat off and Leave to rest in the pan for 2 minutes.

Now its time to get everything together, using a ring mould place the cabbage mixture in and firmly tap down, don’t squash it and mush everything but you want it compact. Lift of the ring mould and gently ladle in the consommé. Place the fish on top of the cabbage mound and I garnish with enoki mushrooms which I have just washed and tied with spring onion, and fresh dill.

Its stunning from every angle, tastes delicious, the fish just pulls apart and glistens perfectly and this dish will leave your guests wanting more and a mean they’ll never forget.

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