Missing your restaurant food right now? This barramundi recipe with a garlic lemon butter sauce is restaurant-style food at home in just minutes.
It is flaky and tasty with a quick easy. and delicious sauce.
This sweet, sustainable fish is good for your health and also good for the environment. I love that it is so quick and easy to prepare but still nice enough for a special occasion.
This pan fried barramundi recipe is perfect for a busy week night. It is on the table in less than 15 minutes and has the flavor that you’d get from dinner at a trendy café.
I lived in Australia for 15 years, where barramundi is an often served fish. It has a delicate sweet and buttery flavor. Not a fishy fish by any means, and even kids love it.
It can be a bit of a challenge to find it here in the US, but it’s worth taking the time to try. It has such a delicious flavor.
Barramundi vs sea bass
Around the world, barramundi is often referred to as Asian sea bass, giant perch, or giant sea perch. Is spite of the sea bass name, there are some differences between barramundi and sea bass.
Sea bass is more commonly found in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean than barramundi is. Barramundi is found from South Asia to Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia.
Sea bass has a lower protein level than barramundi. However it contains omega fatty acids and several vitamins.
Barramundi is a saltwater fish, but sea bass is not. It has a flavor similar to cod or bass, but with a slightly more delicate flavor.
How to cook barramundi
Barramundi is a very delicate fish that needs minimal cooking time The best way to cook it is to sear it lightly on both sides. 4-5 minutes on each side is plenty.
Since the flavor is so delicate, a sauce like this lemon and butter sauce gives added brightness and flavor even though it is super simple to make.
After cooking barramundi, to test fish for doneness, use a fork to pierce it on an angle at the thickest point and twist gently. If it is done, the fish will flake easily and lose its translucent appearance.
Making this Barramundi Recipe
I love easy barramundi recipes like this. I used to worry about having recipes on my blog that were simple. After all, this is a food blog and good cooking is supposed to be complicated isn’t it?
Guess again! Just a few minutes cooking each side and a few more minutes to make the sauce and it’s on the table. So now, I am unabashed in saying it like it is…this sustainable fish is awesomely easy to prepare!
Share this recipe for barramundi with a lemon butter sauce on TwitterBarramundi is one of the tastiest sustainable fishes out there. Try cooking some today. #sustainablefish #barramund🦈🐬 Click To Tweet
What is a sustainable fish?
Sustainable fish has either been caught or farmed in ways that take into account the long term vitality of the species, and the well being of the oceans.
All of this must be done to keep in mind the livelihoods of communities that are fisheries-dependent. The idea began in the 1990s with the sustainable seafood movement.
Barramundi in the US is considered a sustainable fish. It is raised in environmentally sound, closed tank systems with recirculating water. This is a clean way to raise this fish which grows quickly.
This pan fried barramundi is full of nutrients and is a very healthy choice. It’s packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and has 34 grams of protein in each 6 ounce serving.
Most of the flavor of this sauce comes from just a few ingredients: butter, garlic, basil and lemon juice.
I love using fresh herbs for cooking. It adds a taste that you just cannot seem to get with dried herbs, and they are so easy to grow.
Basil is an annual herb and I’ve been growing it indoors this winter to make sure I have it on hand all the time.
Start by rubbing some canola oil on the fish and cooking each barramundi filet for about 4-5 minutes each side. Can’t get much easier than this can you?
Time to make the lemon butter sauce! Fresh basil, with fresh lemon and fresh garlic in butter – sound like a fresh sauce doesn’t it? I love that the sauce won’t over power the delicate fish.
Move the barramundi fillets to a serving plate and keep warm while you make the sauce.
In the same pan that you cooked the fish in, reduce the heat and add the butter and gently cook the garlic for about 2 minutes.
Stir in the lemon juice and fresh basil. That’s all there is to the sauce!
The lemon butter fish sauce is drizzled over the barramundi fillets and garnished with a bit more fresh basil. Done in about 12 minutes and who would believe that when you look at this beautiful dish?
How does the barramundi taste?
The flavor is buttery and fresh with a citrus burst from the lemon over fork tender fish fillets that also have a buttery flavor to them. I love the barramundi fish taste.
Most white fish tastes “fishy” to me, but that is not the case with this lovely sustainable fish. It is clean and delicate and is showcased beautifully with the delicious
Simple, sustainable, buttery, delicate barramundi. Perfection on a plate. This dish will make a fish eater out of the most ardent “I’m not a fish eater kind of person!
Barramundi calories, like most white fish, are naturally low – 113 calories in a 4 ounce portion. Even with the butter sauce, this recipe only works out to about 200 calories per serving.
This recipe for barramundi is high in protein, low in carbs, sugar and sodium and the rich taste of the recipe is the dieter’s perfect food to make them feel as though they are NOT on a diet.
This delicious recipe is gluten free and fits into a Whole30 or Paleo diet plan if you substitute the butter with clarified butter.
Serve this barramundi fillet recipe with a side salad, or some tasty oven roasted vegetables like my oven roasted root vegetable medley .
If you are not a fan of fish normally, be sure to give this one a try. It may change your mind!
Admin note: This recipe first appeared on my blog in September of 2015. I have updated the post with new photos, a step by step tutorial and also added the nutritional information and a video for you to enjoy.
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Barramundi with Lemon Butter Sauce
What's for dinner tonight? For my family, it is this barramundi recipe with a garlic lemon butter sauce. It is flaky and tasty with a delicious sauce.
- 3 Barramundi Fillets about 4 ounces each
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (used Clarified butter for Whole30 and Paleo)
- 1- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
- Small bunch of fresh basil (can also used 3/4 tsp of dried basil)
- Coat the barramundi with canola oil, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper, and place in a heated non stick skillet over medium high heat .
- Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, until the fillets are lightly browned.
- Move to a serving dish and keep warm while you make the sauce.
- In the same pan, reduce the heat and gently cook the garlic in the butter for about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice and fresh basil.
- Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve immediately.
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Serving Size:1 fillet
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 199.7Total Fat: 14.2gSaturated Fat: 5.1gUnsaturated Fat: 6.5gCholesterol: 75.7mgSodium: 41.3mgCarbohydrates: 0.4gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.0gProtein: 23.2g
Friday 5th of May 2023
It was very good. One small mistake I made: I put the butter, garlic and basil into the pan pretty much immediately after removing the fish and the pan was still super hot. So the butter / garlic cooked a bit too fast and burned slightly. So I put the sauce in a separate small container (instead of pouring over the fish) when I served so we could dip into it in small doses. Still, quite tasty.
Tuesday 18th of October 2022
Excellent RECIPE! Tried it today. Thank you!
Wednesday 19th of October 2022
Glad you enjoyed it!
Wednesday 7th of September 2022
The taste of the barrammundi with lemon butter was very delicious. Didn't like this recipe at all.
Friday 2nd of September 2022
Amazing! sounds great and tasty.Tried it today. Thank you!
Wednesday 3rd of November 2021
G'Day Carol, I live in Far North Queensland, Australia. We have Barra fishing competitions here. The last one I caught was a couple weeks ago and was 96cm (the last time I went barra fishing in the estuaries). I must say that Barra that is raised in the way you've described is rather flavourless. If you catch Barra upriver in the fresh cool mountain streams they have a sweet, clean taste - yet have grassy notes - perfectly paired with the method of cooking you'ved described. We chuck the whole gutted fish on the coals of a creek-side fire - sometimes, wrapped in banana leaves and coated in the red, volcanic clay from the creek banks. If you catch Barra in the estuary they have a rather strong earthy, briny, seaweed, mudiness to them. Their flesh is much darker and far richer in nutrients. The mangroves are where they come to breed. Citrus is your friend when serving. The Barra that you catch on the reef are rare, but about the most delicious fish you will ever taste. They are huge - 1-2 metres. They are a very rare catch. They, by far, are the best. Thank you Carol.