We all know the great health benefits of eating fish, but sometimes the environmental risks of purchasing unsustainable fish outweigh those benefits. The solution? Barramundi. It’s a great tasting, easy-to-prepare fish that’s high in omega-3’s and environmentally-friendly.
Barramundi is a member of the sea bass family and a native to Australia and parts of Southeast Asia. It’s relatively new in U.S. markets and is becoming a hot fish in the restaurant industry due to its versatility in cooking and sustainable reputation. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has rated it a “Best Choice” for purchasing due to its sustainability. They have provided these guidelines to consumers for purchasing:
Best Choices: Purchase barramundi caught in the U.S., which are farmed in fully recirculating systems. Australian-caught is another good alternative.
Avoid: Check the label when purchasing, and avoid those imported from Indo-Pacific areas, as these tend to be farmed in open systems. Fish farmed in recirculating systems eliminates the risk of disease transfer and pollution.
Common Names: Asian sea bass, barramundi perch, giant perch, palmer, silver barramundi, nairfish
Barramundi are high in omega-3s, providing 600-800 mg per 5 oz serving, which is comparable to some varieties of salmon (and uncommon in most other varieties of white fish). Barramundi has a sweet, buttery flavor, with a firm, moist texture and large flakes. If you tend to avoid salmon because of its sometimes “fishy” flavor, give barramundi a try! Try it grilled, baked or pan-seared. It goes great with a variety of sauces or spices. Here is a simple and tasty recipe adapted from www.thebetterfish.com.
- 4 barramundi fillets
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh or bottled lemon juice
- A handful of chopped, fresh basil
- Salt to taste
- Saute the garlic in butter for about a minute, until fragrant.
- Stir in the lemon juice and basil.
- Add the salt to taste and remove from the heat, reserving the sauce in a separate dish.
- Coat the fillets with olive oil. Using the same pan, set the heat to high and cook on the first side for three minutes.
- Flip and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes, or until cooked throughout.
- Spoon the lemon butter sauce over the fillets on a serving dish.
This was a guest post by Judi Giordano, an aspiring dietitian and culinary graduate. Stay tuned for more of her upcoming posts on quick and delicious meal ideas, shopping tips, and fresh, eco-friendly alternatives.