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  • Writer's pictureChef Dylan

GREEK STYLE BARRA BURGERS



This zesty lemon pepper charred barramundi fillet with fresh lettuce and tomato makes this Greek style fish burger perfectly suited for an elegant weekend family lunch.

After working hard to set up and run a restaurant for 5 years, 'Eden', a winery restaurant in the Gold Coast hinterland on Mount Tamborine my wife and I used the opportunity to take a year-long sabbatical. Having fallen in love through the art of travel we welcomed the opportunity once again to be 'foot loose and fancy free' as they say and devised quite the trip, a round the world trip no less, to tick off bucket list goals and reconnect with much loved family and friends along the way. Upon returning home to Australia from our far flung adventures we decided to seek out new opportunities as we envisaged we would open another restaurant.


Port Stephens, NSW 2019

My grandparents opted to leave Sydney on their retirement for the quieter lifestyle around Port Stephens, a sleepy seaside village near Newcastle in New South Wales. My aunty lived close by and owned shares in a barramundi farm where the owners had just spent $100,000 building a function centre with a state-of-the-art kitchen and man-made lake filled with, you guessed it, barramundi. They had a huge tank in the dining room where diners could choose the barramundi of their choice and have it freshly cooked.


At first sight it seemed like a wonderful opportunity, to re-vamp the a la carte restaurant and create a reputable events location. The farm was not without it's issues, however. The remote location meant it relied heavily on tourist coaches to fill the lunchtime trade. The location also meant they struggled to attain and maintain good staff. Hence, they were unable to find a restaurateur to take it on even though they were offering a very cheap rent. We talked it over and decided to give it a miss.


Did you know? Barramundi is not just native to Australia but is also known as Asian sea bass. It is a species of catadromous fish in the family Latidae of the order Perciformes. The species is widely distributed in the Indo-West Pacific region from South Asia to Papua New Guinea and thrives in Northern Australia. The fish is known as pla kapong in Thai and as bhetki in Bengali. With half the calories of salmon, barramundi is still packed with Omega-3 fatty acids known to promote both brain and cardiovascular health and offers 34 grams of lean protein in a 170g serving.


Barramundi has to be one of Australia's most iconic fish and is popular in Queensland's for good reason. It's flaky, soft, white flesh is meaty and wholesome and what’s more it’s sustainably farmed here. Barramundi spend the beginning of their life in fresh water and then migrate to seawater. Barramundi become sexually mature as males at about 3-4 years old. Males turn into females from about 5-6 years onwards but require saltwater for this sex change. They have large, silver scales which may become darker or lighter depending on their environments, and can live to at least 20 years of age. Their bodies can reach up to 1.8m though their average length is about 0.6-1.2m long with a maximum weight of ~60kg - that’s the size of an adult human! If you've never cooked fish on the barbie, I suggest you give this super easy recipe a whirl. The trick is to let the fish char nicely before you try to flip it.


PREP TIME: 15 mins

COOKING TIME: 10-15 mins

SERVINGS: 4


INGREDIENTS

  • 4 x 120g Barramundi fillets skin on

  • 2 tbsps oil

  • 2 tbsps SPARTAN

  • 2 vine ripened tomato

  • 100g mixed lettuce

  • 4 x burger buns

  • 4 tbsps mayo, preferably homemade

  • 1 lemon cut into 4 pieces

METHOD

  1. Check barramundi for bones and remove from flesh if you find any.

  2. Mix SPARTAN with oil in a bowl and coat the barramundi evenly. Marinate for 20 mins MAX.

  3. Slice tomato, wash and portion lettuce.

  4. Grill barramundi on high heat for 4 mins each side or until cooked through.

  5. Toast buns for 30 seconds.

  6. To assemble your burgers, add mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and fillet of barramundi.

TO SERVE


Serve with a fresh squeeze of lemon just before eating. Add oven roasted hand cut chips and garlic aioli to complete the dish. Wash it all down with a crisp Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.




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