Recipe video above. Banish boring baked fish with this sweet n' savoury, gently spiced Asian-style barbecue glaze. A quick finish under the broiler / grill caramelises the glaze for maximum flavour! For the most juicy and perfectly cooked fish, take the fish out when the internal temperature is 55C/135F. Serve with plain or flavoured rice, and some wholesome veggies to complete.
Keyword: baked barramundi, baked fish, barramundi recipe, easy fish recipe, white fish recipe
4 x 180g / 6ozbarramundi fillets, skinless, boneless; or other ~2.5cm / 1" thick firm white fish fillets (Note 1)
4tspcornflour / cornstarch
5tbspsoy sauce, all-purpose or light soy sauce (Note 2)
4tbsphoney(else maple syrup or 5 tbsp brown sugar)
1tbspChinese black vinegar or rice vinegar(Note 3)
1tspsambal oelek, or other Asian chilli paste / sauce (Note 5)
1/2tspChinese Five Spice(Note 6)
1clovegarlic, finely minced
1tspginger, finely grated
1/4tspSichuan pepper, or white pepper (Note 7)
Green onions(Note 8)
Large red chilli, finely sliced
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C fan). Line a tray with parchment/baking paper. Place shelf in middle of oven.
Cornflour slurry: Mix water and cornflour in a small bowl.
Make glaze: Place remaining glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add cornflour slurry then stir well. Cook it for a further 2 minutes until it thickens into a thick paste – thick enough so it stays on the fish when brushed on. See photo in post or video. If it is just a thick syrup, it will slide off the fish.
Brush glaze on Fish: Place fish fillets on tray. Dab/brush paste on on the top and sides.
Bake then broil/grill: Bake fish for 15 minutes. Then flick to broiler/grill on high, and cook for 3 minutes to caramelise the surface. Target an internal temperature of 55°C/131°F for medium, which is just cooked but not raw at all. Fish temperature will continue to rise to 58°C/136.5°F during resting.
Garnish: Remove from oven, transfer to serving plates and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with green onion, chillies and sesame seeds, as desired. Pictured in post with a side of Coconut Rice and cucumber with Asian Sesame Dressing.
1. Fish fillets suitable for this recipe - any firm white fish fillets that are ~2.5cm/1" thick:
Snapper (if a large fish)
Tilapia – the thick part (reduce oven cook time to 12 minutes)
Pollock (aka Coley)
Stripe bass (not all bass is suitable), hake, gummy shark
Salmon or ocean trout also work but there might be too much flavour going on as the glaze is quite intense!
Avoid: lean fish (swordfish, tuna, kingfish), small thin fish fillets (bream, dory), long narrow fish (cod), oily fish (mackerel, sardines). See in post for more extensive list.2. Soy sauce – Do not use dark soy sauce (too strong) or sweet soy sauce (too sweet). More on different soy sauces here.3. Chinese black vinegar, like balsamic vinegar, is dark and has more flavour than regular vinegars. You can sub with plain rice vinegar. As a last resort, you can also sub with cider vinegar.4. Mirin is type of sweet Japanese cooking wine, widely available these days in the Asian section of everyday supermarkets. Substitute with (best option first): Chinese cooking wine, Japanese cooking sake, 3 tbsp low sodium chicken stock (glaze will take longer to thicken).5. Sriracha or other chilli paste will be a perfectly good substitute to add a bit of warmth into the glaze. If you're concerned about spiciness, just leave it out.6. Chinese Five Spice – A premix of 5 spices, frequently used in Chinese cooking. Widely available these days in everyday grocery stores.7. Sichuan Pepper – Gives a unique numbing spiciness to dishes. Substitute with white pepper. You can also leave out if you're concerned about spiciness.8. Green onion garnish – This is how I prepared the curly green onion pictured in the photos: Finely slice the green part on an angle to form long strips. Place in a bowl of water and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes. The longer it stays, the curlier it becomes. If you leave it overnight, you will end up with tight ringlets!!9. Storage – Fish doesn't keep or reheat well. While it can be done, it will inevitably become soggy and potentially overcook on reheat. Best to eat fresh.