This dish is so easy to cook and is a favourite in my house. My kids would happily eat fish fingers which I make using this recipe but until I started cooking our fish with crispy skin, any other fish meal was very hit and miss. As fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for the health of our brains and bodies I like to include it in our meals once a week.
I have to admit that I always baulked at eating the skin of the fish myself and used to ask the fishmonger to remove it (I couldn’t figure out why they always gave me strange looks!) but then I read about how nutritious the skin was and decided it was time to cook it in a way that made it a pleasure to eat.
This dish can be done with any fish really and is delicious with salmon or trout however since I have discovered, by talking to several fish mongers, that all Australian salmon and trout are farmed and that the only wild caught options are from the icy cold waters of Alaska and Canada, I have stopped buying these fish. For further information about why I choose not to eat farmed fish this article from Cyndi O’Meara is very useful. You can buy frozen wild caught salmon however it is very expensive.
My family prefer the taste of barramundi in this dish and I buy it wild caught. An added bonus for me is that the fillets are boneless. Barramundi does have the potential to be high in mercury so limit it to once a week maximum and less if you are pregnant or for young children.
Wild caught barramundi fillets (or any wild caught fish with the skin on) – for our family of five I buy four pieces.
Fat of choice – butter, ghee, duck fat, coconut oil. My favourite is duck fat or ghee.
Salt and pepper.
Heat a frypan or the bbq on medium – high heat. To cook all four pieces at once I use two pans.
Add in a generous amount of cooking fat of your choice. If the pan is not hot enough or you don’t have enough cooking fat then the skin will stick.
Season the skin side of the fish with salt and pepper – just a small amount on each piece is plenty. No need to rub it in.
When the fat is hot, place fish in the pan skin side down. Be careful of splashes from hot fats.
Cook on the skin side until the fish is almost cooked through (the flesh will become opaque/white) and the skin is nice and crispy. We like our fish cooked all the way through but feel free to cook it to your liking!
Flip the fish to the flesh side to finish off just for a minute or two. This also gives the other side a nice crispy layer.
Serve skin side up on a bed of fresh salad or veggies. I like to add some fermented veggies on the side too.
p.s. Any leftover fish is nice in a bone broth with veggies for breakfast or lunch the next day.