Saturday, December 24, 2016
Barramundi – Barramundi. Barramundi the fish, on French Menus.
Behind the French menu
Bryan G. Newman
Barramundi, Brochet de Mer, Perche de Mer – Barramundi, Barramundi Perch, and Asian sea bass. Barramundi is a large and tasty white-fleshed fish and the barramundi on your table in France will come from freshwater fish farms mostly from Spain and Israel. In the wild, this fish is caught in freshwater as well as in the brackish water where rivers meet the sea. Nevertheless, there are also separate groups of Barramundi that live as saltwater fish.
Barramundi caught in Australia, 13 kilos (28 lbs).
No worries! You will not be served a whole barramundi; the smaller farmed fish mostly weigh three or four kilos (6.50 – 9 lbs) or more and in France, you will be offered a filet or a steak. The large sizes weigh over ten kilos (22 lbs). In the wild, Barramundi may grow to over 50 kilos (110 lbs).
Barramundi in the market.
I thought that barramundi was a uniquely Australian freshwater fish as I knew that its name came from the Aboriginal Australian language. However, after seeing barramundi offered on French menus, I investigated further. Barramundi it turns out is also native to the rivers and estuaries of many countries in Asia, including Japan. Despite this fish not being exclusively Australian, it is still Australia's most famous freshwater fish.
Barramundi on French Menus:
Barramundi sur Lit de Quinoa aux Légumes de Saison, Sauce au Beurre Blanc – Barramundi served on a bed of quinoa with the season's fresh vegetables and a white butter sauce.
Pan fried barramundi, garlic crisps, octopus,
tomato coulis, beans.
Filet de Barramundi à l’Unilatéral, Crevettes et Pétoncles Poêlées, Risotto de Gourganes, Huile d’Aromates. A filet of Barramundi cooked through from the skin side only. This manner of cooking is considered better for large fish as the flavor and texture are retained. Here the fish is prepared with the meat of fried queen scallops and shrimps and served with a fava bean risotto flavored with aromatic herbs.
Filet de Barramundi Crème de Capucine et Pistil Safrané Pomme Écrasée aux Essence de Morilles – A filet of barramundi prepared with a cream of nasturtium, the herb, with added saffron pistils and served with hand mashed potatoes flavored with wild morel mushrooms.
Pavé de Barramundi en Croûte d'Amandes Poêlée de Courgettes au Figatelli et Purée de Pommes de Terre Douce au Curry – A large cut of Barramundi cooked inside a covering of almonds and served with fried courgettes and figatelli which is a Corsican sausage of pig's liver, fat and blood; (if you like black pudding you may love this), along with a puree of sweet potato flavored with curry. If you are worried that the curry may be hot, remember that in France, outside of Indian restaurants, curry is used as a very light flavoring.
Crispy skin barramundi
Filet de Barramundi à l’Étuvée et sa Duxelles de Poivron, Courgette et Poireau, Jus de Coquillage au Basilic et Purée aux Olives Noires – A filet of barramundi served with bell peppers prepared as duxelles along with courgettes (the USA zucchinis) and leaks. All is flavored with the cooking juices of crustaceans along with basil and a puree of black olives.
N.B. Duxelles is a five-hundred-year-old recipe of finely chopped mushrooms, shallots, and herbs cooked in butter. Duxelles today, as originally, are used a stuffing or as a garnish for egg, fish, and meat dishes and may sometimes be helped along with wine and served with a sauce. Here the mushrooms are replaced by sweet bell peppers. The original of this simple but famous recipe was created by one of France’s earliest published chefs, Francois Pierre de La Varenne (1618 – 1678). La Varenne named the dish after his employer the Marquis d'Duxelles.
Catching Barramundi in the wild in Australia
In Australia the Barramundi is still caught in the wild; however, even there most of the fish in the markets will come from fish farms. You will pay a premium for fresh wild fish.
Barramundi in the languages of France’s neighbors:
(Catalan - barramundi ),(Dutch - barramundi ), (German – riesenbarsch, barramundi). (Italian – barramundi), (Spanish - perca gigante and barramundi).
Basil, Common Basil or Sweet Basil. Basilic or Herbe Royal; Herbs and Spices in the French Kitchen II.
Coquilles Saint-Jacques and the Vanneaux or Pétoncle. The King Scallop and the Queen Scallop. The Coquilles Saint-Jacques, and the Vanneaux or Pétoncle in French Cuisine.
Bryan G. Newman
Behind the French Menu
Copyrght 2010, 2016.
For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman