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Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe

This Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe has all the perks of a healthy seafood dinner and comes together in just 20 minutes. Made with a lemon butter sauce and garnished with fresh basil, it’s destined to be a family favorite!

Cooked Barramundi on a platter
Easy, Perfect Barramundi is buttery, flaky, and full of fresh lemon flavors. It’s sure to be a new favorite!

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe

Lemon butter sauce on seafood is a classic combination for a good reason. There’s just something magical about that buttery lemon and garlic sauce blanketing tender fish that makes us eager for seconds. This recipe pairs this classic combo with Barramundi, a mild, white-fleshed fish that’s super easy-to-cook.

Packed with healthy omega-3s, lean protein, and calcium, Barramundi is the perfect fish for a light, healthy meal. This dish also comes together in just about 20 minutes, making it an ideal easy dinner recipe for weeknights.

We love serving this easy Barramundi dish with our favorite salads and rice sides. It’s always a crowd pleaser at family dinners, even for the ones who aren’t fish fans – yet.

What Is Barramundi?

Barramundi may not be a fish you’ve cooked with before. It’s not as common in the U.S. as tuna, salmon, or trout; but once you try it, you’ll be hooked (no pun intended). The mild flavor of this fish is so versatile. It’s absolutely delicious with a variety of dishes.

The word “Barramundi” comes from the Australian Aboriginal language translating to, “large-scaled fish”. These fish are native to the Indo-West Pacific Region near India and Australia, but are farmed throughout the world. Due to their hardiness, large size, and mostly vegetarian diet, Barramundi farming is becoming more and more widespread making it easy to find these fish in grocery stores.

Barramundi cooking close up
Barramundi is a fish native to the Indo-Pacific Region. It’s a white-fleshed fish with mild, buttery flavors and a flaky texture.

What Does Barramundi Taste Like?

The taste and texture of these fish are similar to grouper, striped bass, and snapper. Barramundi are white-fleshed fish and have a flaky texture when cooked. The filets come out mild, buttery, and rich.

This is definitely the fish for people who are more sensitive to any fish flavor that varieties like tuna and salmon may sometimes have. Barramundi doesn’t taste or smell fishy at all. It’s the perfect option for any recipe that calls for white fish.

How To Cook Barramundi

Pretty much any method from pan frying to steaming works well with this fish. Barramundi’s mild taste and medium/high fat content make it not only versatile, but also hard to burn. So, if you’re not used to cooking fish, this is a great one to start with.

In this recipe, we pan fry the fillets in olive oil on a cast iron skillet. It only takes 3 minutes on each side before it’s ready to enjoy!

  1. Mix ingredients for lemon butter sauce and cook until bubbly.
  2. Pat Barramundi filets dry and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet and place Barramundi fillets skin side down on the pan.
  4. Gently flip fish and cook for 3 more minutes.

Key Ingredients

  • Butter – We like to use salted butter in this recipe for extra flavor. The fat in the butter balances the lemon for harmony of freshness and richness to this recipe.
  • Garlic Freshly minced garlic elevates almost any meal to the next level. In this dish it plays up the mild taste of the Barramundi perfectly.
  • Basil – Fresh basil not only adds a pop of color, but also brings that hint of sweetness and spiciness that is sure to make your taste buds dance.
  • Lemon Juice – We prefer freshly squeezed lemon juice. This citrus adds that sour, tangy flavor that goes perfect with the basil and butter to bring those summer flavors to the recipe.
  • Lemon Zest – Adding lemon zest to the sauce assures that the lemon flavor won’t be looked over. It’s another fresh, vibrant, and healthy addition.
  • Kosher salt – Make sure you’re using kosher salt for this dish. Fine table salt could result in an outcome that’s too salty.
  • Black Pepper – Freshly ground black pepper gives this dish the slightest hint of earthy, spice that grounds the brighter, lighter ingredients.

Key Tips For Success

One of the great things about this recipe is that it’s super straightforward and simple. To ensure a consistently delicious result, take a look at these tips and tricks for the perfect Barramundi.

  • Clean the fish. Always give your fish filets a good rinse to clean anything off of them. Just make sure to pat them dry thoroughly to ensure they cook properly.
  • Watch the Butter. Make sure to keep an eye on the lemon, butter mixture as it’s cooking. Stir the mixture frequently to prevent it from burning, as butter can burn super fast.
  • Get the best fillets. Try to get Barramundi fillets that are about 1/2″ thick throughout to get the best results with the cooking times listed in this recipe.
  • Cast iron skillet. We love a good cast iron skillet for fish recipes. Not only are these a clean, safe cooking material, but they also help make evenly cooked and perfectly browned fish.
  • Use an oil splatter guard. When cooking the fish in the olive oil, things will get messy. To prevent getting splattered with oil, we like using an oil splatter guard.
  • Let it sit. When cooking fish, it’s important not to move it too much to avoid the fillets breaking. For the best results, only flip your fish fillets once.

Commonly Asked Questions

What kind of fish can I use in place of Barramundi?

A few good substitutes for Barramundi are Snapper, Grouper, Cod, and Sea Bass. Really, any white-fleshed fish with a similar mild flavor and flaky texture will work great with this dish. Just note that Barramundi fillets tend to be thinner than other varieties. So, you may have to adjust the cooking times if you’re using a thicker filet.

Where can I buy Barramundi?

Supermarkets like Whole Foods, Costco, and Sam’s Club usually carry barramundi fillets either fresh or frozen.

Is it okay to use frozen Barramundi?

Absolutely! Barramundi filets are often flash frozen which means that you may actually have a fresher filet when you buy it frozen vs. fresh.

How long does this dish keep?

This barramundi recipe will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. If you want to keep it longer, you can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

Is it safe to buy farm raised barramundi?

Yes! Barramundi tend to be a healthier fish to eat even if they’re farm raised. Because they’re so hardy, farm raised Barramundi won’t usually have as many added antibiotics as other kinds of fish.

Cooked barramundi plated and garnished
Drizzled with delightful lemon butter sauce and garnished with fresh basil and lemon, your family will adore this dish.

What To Serve With Barramundi

This easy Barramundi goes well with so many different sides. Take a look at some of our favorites!

More To Make And Eat

  • Easy Lemon Butter Fish in 20 Minutes – Perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner, this lemon butter fish uses firm white fish filets and sauce bursting with flavor. The best part is it only takes 20 minutes!
  • Baked Salmon with Ginger Soy Marinade – This mouthwatering salmon recipe comes together in just 20 minutes. A marinade made from bold ingredients like soy sauce, sesame oil, and pure honey give your taste buds something to remember.
  • Pan Seared Mahi Mahi (with Mango Salsa) – Tender, flavorful, and flaky, mahi mahi is garnished with a fresh and sweet mango salsa for a meal that will have you feeling like you’re on vacation.
  • 15-Minute Steamed Fish – You really can make delicious, healthy steamed fish in the microwave. This Chinese dish is perfect for nights when you’re in a time crunch, and it’s bursting with flavor.
  • Best Branzino Recipe – You’re going to love this easy preparation of branzino!

Also Try These Shrimp Kabobs

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Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Cooked Barramundi on a platter

Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe

5 from 90 ratings
This Easy, Perfect Barramundi Recipe has all the perks of a healthy, seafood dinner and comes together in just 20 minutes. Made with a lemon, butter sauce and garnished with fresh basil, this vibrant meal will be a new favorite!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Amy Dong

Ingredients  

For Lemon Butter Mixture

  • 2 TB butter, salted, softened
  • 2 TB garlic, freshly minced
  • 1 TB basil, packed, freshly chopped
  • 1 TB lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 TB lemon zest
  • tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground

For the Fish

  • 2-4 TB olive oil
  • 4 barramundi fillets, 1/2" thick, 5-6 oz. each*
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Optional Garnishes

  • Freshly chopped basil
  • Lemon slices

Instructions

  • Make Lemon Butter Mixture: in a small pan, combine all Lemon Butter Mixture ingredients. Heat sauce just until bubbly, stirring often. Once bubbly, turn heat off and keep warm.
    Barramundi lemon butter sauce in pan
  • Use clean paper towels to pat-dry all excess moisture from the fish fillets. This step is important to proper cooking, so be sure to dab off as much moisture as you can. Evenly sprinkle top of fillets with a thin layer of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    raw barramundi filets
  • In a large pan* heat 2 TB olive oil over high heat. Once oil is smoking and sizzling hot, carefully add 2 of the fish fillets, skin side down, and let cook undisturbed for 3 minutes – do not move fish around.
    Barramundi filets cooking skin down
  • Use large metal spatula to carefully flip fish fillets over for another 3 minutes, without moving fish around. Gently lift cooked fish onto a serving plate and keep warm. Repeat with other 2 fish fillets.
    Barramundi filets cooking skin side up
  • Just before serving, re-warm the Lemon Butter Mixture if needed, and evenly distribute over the fish fillets. Serve with freshly chopped basil and lemon slices for garnish.
    Barramundi in skillet

Notes

  • Barramundi fillets tend to be thinner than other fish, so try to get fillets that are as close to ½” thick throughout.
  • You can substitute freshly chopped chives for basil.
  • Be sure to use kosher salt, as kosher salt is much less salty per volume than fine table salt.
  • Use an oil splatter guard to prevent hot oil from splattering during cooking.
  • Use a large metal spatula for easy flipping of fish fillets.
  • We use a large cast iron pan for nice, even browning.
  • Serve with a fresh, colorful Caprese Salad or any crisp salad that you like. This dish pairs well with rice and potatoes or orzo.
  • If you want a bit more color on the plate, garnish with sliced cherry tomatoes.
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ❤️
 

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 203IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Dinner, fish, Main Course, seafood
Cuisine: American, Asian
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: pan fry, Skillet, Stovetop

Add a comment

Recipe Rating




25 comments

    • Ann O.
    • 5 stars

    Easy and delicious! I will definitely make this again. Thank you for this great recipe!

      • Amy Dong

      You’re so welcome, Ann 🙂

    • Julie
    • 5 stars

    This was really good! Had mushroom orzo as a side. The whole meal was tasty and so easy, yet so elevated.

      • Amy Dong

      Yay, Julie!! 🙂

    • Tony J Peterson

    How did you cook the tomatoes that are in the picture?

      • Amy Dong

      I just added a sprinkling of freshly sliced cherry tomatoes for garnish 🙂

    • SAL
    • 5 stars

    Easy, quick and amazingly delicious. A prime example of using good ingredients and letting them shine. New potatoes, steamed broccoli, an Austrian Gewürztraminer…. What a wonderful weekend meal!

    • Dennis
    • 5 stars

    I love barramundi and your recipe was easy to make and so very flavorful! Everyone at my house loved the fish!

      • Amy Dong

      Thank you!

    • Veronika
    • 5 stars

    I love making fish in the summer and I loved the fresh flavors here. We served it with some roasted garlic potatoes like you recommended and a greek salad. It was so good!

      • Amy Dong

      So happy you liked it 🙂

    • Lisa
    • 5 stars

    Lemon butter sauce on fish is my favorite. I could make this twice a week and serve different sides to go with it.

    • Kathryn
    • 5 stars

    This made such a light, delicious, and satisfying dinner. I love the lemon butter mixture at the top! Will be making this again.

      • Amy Dong

      Yay, so glad you liked it!

    • Katie Crenshaw
    • 5 stars

    The butter, basil, lemon sauce was an excellent flavor combination on this Barramundi! It turned out so delicious.

      • Amy Dong

      Thank you!

    • Giangi Townsend
    • 5 stars

    I had to order the barramundi and I am so glad I did. Tender and so rich in flavor.
    The sauce is perfect with it, thank you. Rich and yet not overpowering, a great combination.

      • Amy Dong

      You’re so welcome!

    • veenaazmanov
    • 5 stars

    I am drooling with the delicious thought of the Lemon Butter Sauce and sea food is one of my favorite healthy meal option.

    • Cathleen
    • 5 stars

    Wow, this is perfect!! I have been looking for a recipe to make tonight, and this is perfect! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

      • Amy Dong

      So glad you liked it! 🙂

    • Mikayla
    • 5 stars

    I was unable to find this fish near me, but loved the recipe as I read through it. So I bought some fresh snapper, since you mentioned it was a bit similar and used your recipe. Delicious is a mild word, we really enjoyed it.

      • Amy Dong

      SO glad you guys loved it! 🙂

    • Sharon
    • 5 stars

    I adore white fish dishes and his barramundi recipe did not disappoint. I really love how easily it came together, will be making it again!

      • Amy Dong

      Thanks, Sharon!

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