simple lemon butter barramundi

At the university fitness center, scanning an old Bon Appetit to kill a few minutes waiting for ani to finish her workout, bob spots a little blurb about sustainable healthy farmed fish: barramundi. By coincidence later that afternoon at Whole Foods bob spots some frozen barramundi, 8.99 for two portions. ani is a bit skeptical about the price but the fresh fish there is even more expensive. bob wins, wanting to try this fish out after reading the claim about a fish-farmed fish that you can trust. At the checkout counter, the package seems not to be priced or something unclear. The checkout guy says it's free. bob is a bit hesitant and says it was marked 8.99. The checkout guy says they are allowed to give away a certain amount of stuff, but if we really want him to ring it up he will. bob accepts the turn of fate, free barramundi.

The package has a photo of the Massachusetts-based Australian fish farm guy with his signature and a statement about sustainable seafood that he has devoted his life to...and that top chefs are raving about. Feel good packaging, eh? It comes with a recipe for simple lemon butter barramundi. Garlic and lemon, some butter, sounds good. This fish is native to Australian waters, way down under. Here not so native, but let's face it. The fish-farmed tilapia makes us nervous from the horror stories we have read about bad fish farming. Maybe we can afford this frozen barramundi once in a while. If it passes the taste test.

The package is about 12 oz, in two separate plastic sealed packages inside the informative product package. The outside package suggests that this is about 3 servings, but we are normally asking for less than 2 people portions at the fish counter, and this was just right for two. The recipe on the package seems to be for 2 packages if you decipher the cleverly worded fish amount, given that the package nowhere states the weight of the product except through re-interpreting the info about serving size and number of servings in the package. We cut it down to a 2 person recipe and inverted the fish and sauce order in the instructions for simplicity.

Well, the verdict? Not bad. If it's healthy, maybe we can afford this fish once in a while.


1 12 oz package frozen barramundi
1 t olive oil
1 T butter
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 T lemon juice
2-3 leaves fresh basil (1/2 t dried basil)
salt to taste


  1. Sauté the fish in the olive oil and butter about 3 minutes per side, then remove to a covered plate.
  2. Press the garlic into the liquid fat and add in the lemon juice and cook briefly the garlic without burning it please. Maybe 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and put the fish back into the pan and cover until ready to be served, not long after preferably.


  1. Can we believe the hype? Oprah's magazine endorses it. Check it out for yourself.
  2. Tilapia fish farming? Hmmm.
  3. Illustrations available.
barramundi.htm: 25-dec-2009 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]