Recipe video above. Fish with crispy skin is one of the most delicious quick ways to cook a piece of protein! To nail it every time, you need dry skin, hot oil and to press down lightly to let the skin seal against the hot pan.I'm using Barramundi here but this recipe can be used for any fish with skin that goes crispy - see Note 1.Stove to oven method recommended for thick fillets so for most even cooking of flesh with super crispy skin - see Note 3. Thin fillets can be cooked entirely on the stove. Scoring the skin is recommended for thick fillets for even cooking of the flesh and skin, plus an insurance policy to prevent the skin from curling up.Sauces and sides - See Note 7!
Course: Fish, Main
Keyword: barramundi recipe, crispy skin barramundi, crispy skin fish
180g/6ozx 2barramundi or other fish fillets, skin on, pin boned (Note 1)
2tbspolive oil(or vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil)
Dry skin: Pat skin dry with paper towels. For extra precaution, leave the fish fillets in the fridge skin side up, uncovered, for an hour. (I rarely do this)
Scoring skin (Note 5): For Thick Fillets, score the skin by cutting slashes into the skin as pictured in post. 4cm slashes 1cm apart, 2 - 3mm deep, through the skin and ever so slightly into the flesh (1.6" long, 0.4" apart, 0.1" deep)
Season fish: Sprinkle the flesh and skin with the salt and pepper just before cooking.
Heat oil well: Heat oil in a non stick pan over medium high heat until you see the first small wisps of smoke.
Press fish down: Place one fillet into the pan skin side down, then use your fingers or spatula to press down lightly for 10 seconds to allow the skin to seal flat against the hot surface. Repeat with the other fillet (PROS: Do both at the same time!).
Cook skin 2 - 3 minutes: Cook the skin side for 2 to 3 minutes until it's crispy in the centre and golden. Lift up to check.
Transfer Thick Fillets to oven: Transfer to oven for 10 minutes (do not flip, keep skin side still down - goes crispier!) or until the internal temperature is 55°C/131°F. (Note 6)
Thin fillets: Turn and cook the flesh side in the pan.
Rest 3 minutes: Transfer fish to a rack with the skin side UP. Rest for 3 minutes.
Serving: To serve, place on a plate skin side UP. Do not pour sauce on the skin until just before serving else it will soften the fish skin. See ingredients above for suggested sauces and sides!
1. Fish - 180g/6oz is a standard portion size per person for fish. Fish with skin that goes crispy that can be used for this recipe - see full list in the Fish With Skin That Goes Crispy post. Here's the most common fish:
If you are filleting your own fish, I will be impressed - brag in the comments below and tell me what you caught!If you using store bought fillets, they should already come pin boned (ie bones removed) and descaled (ie scales scraped off). But it's always wise to check, just in case!2. Salt - All my recipes use cooking salt (same as kosher salt) which are larger grains that table salt so they are easier to handle for cooking purposes. So if you only have table salt, use less for the equivalent saltiness.3. Thick fillets - For fillets > 25.cm / 1" thick, it is best to start on the stove then finish in the oven so the flesh cooks through evenly. If you don't, you will end up with a thick band of overcooked flesh before the middle cooks through. Also best to keep the skin side down - it's the optimum way to achieve the balance of ultra crispy skin with the most evenly cooked flesh.Exception - Salmon which can be entirely cooked on the stove because it's an oily fish and also because it is best served medium rare (ie slightly less cooked than white fish). See separate recipe for Crispy Skin Salmon.4. Oven proof pan - If you don't have one, transfer the pan seared fish to a pre-heated tray for the baking part. Make sure the tray is preheated well then take it out, spray with oil and put the fish skin side down on it. Bake per recipe.5. Scoring skin - Easiest way to do this is to grip the flesh on either side of where you want to cut the slashes which will tighten the skin which makes it easier to cut. See video at 16 seconds.6. Cooking time will vary depend on the thickness of the fillet. The 2.5cm / 1" thick barramundi fillet weighing 180g/6oz took exactly 10 minutes in the oven. Note: thin fillets can be cooked entirely on the stove.7. Serving options:Sides that act as a sauce for the fish: