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National Barramundi Day Masterclass

MATT STONE’S BARRAMUNDI BURGERS

This is a simple way to use whole barramundi fillets that is approachable and appealing to everyone. Here I have chosen to make my own potato buns, which is of course completely optional but can be a bit of fun with the family. Fried crumbed barra is great with a classic tartare sauce and some fresh lettuce or herbs from the garden, but feel free to put your own spin on it.

Matt Stone’s Barramundi Burgers

This is a simple way to use whole barramundi fillets that is approachable and appealing to everyone. Here I have chosen to make my own potato buns, which is of course completely optional but can be a bit of fun with the family. Fried crumbed barra is great with a classic tartare sauce and some fresh lettuce or herbs from the garden, but feel free to put your own spin on it.

POTATO BUNS

Ingredients

  • 500g plain flour
  • 25g sugar
  • 10g salt
  • 2t dried yeast
  • 180ml milk
  • 50ml water
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g soft butter
  • 200g potato
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of milk
  • Sesame seeds

Method

Step 1

Roast 3 to 4 potatoes (350-400g starting weight) on a tray at around 200 degrees for about 30 minutes. You’ll need 200g of mashed potato for the bun so it’s best to shoot over a little and have a snack on whatever is left. Check the spuds are done with a small knife or skewer. Once cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh out and press through a sieve or a potato ricer and set aside.

Step 2

Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a stand mixer bowl. You can also do this by hand, but as I learnt the hard way it takes much longer! Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk them together. Add the milk. Use the hook attachment to the mixer and turn onto low. Slowly pour in the wet ingredients. Mix to form a dough and then keep mixing for a few minutes until smooth and silky.

Step 3

Next, add 1/3 of the butter and mix until incorporated. Repeat twice more. Once all the butter is mixed through add 1/3 of the potato. Repeat twice more. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a towel. If it’s a warm day it will prove on the bench but if it’s a bit cool you can prove it in the oven on its lowest setting. The dough needs to prove for about an hour, or until it has tripled in size.

Step 4

Once proved, gently take it out and place it on a board, trying to knock out as little air as possible. Divide the dough into eight pieces, weighing around 150g each. Roll the dough in your hand on the bench to form neat balls. I suggest using two baking trays so they have plenty of room to cook evenly.

Step 5

Leave to prove about for around 30 minutes.

Step 6

Preheat your oven to 180. Whisk an egg with a splash of milk and gently brush the buns, covering the whole thing, and generously sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 25 minutes until golden. The buns can be made well in advance, as they hold up really well.

CRUMBED BARRA

Ingredients

  • 4 x 120g pieces of barramundi
  • 2 eggs
  • 60ml milk
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs
  • Plain flour

Method

Step 1

Set yourself up a nice little crumbing station – flour in one tray, mixed egg and milk in one tray and breadcrumbs in one tray. Coat the Barra portions in flour, making sure all surfaces are covered. Dust off any excess and place into the egg mixture. Coat well, then drain off and place into the crumbs.

Step 2

Press the crumbs firmly into the fish. Flip it over a few times pressing firmly. I find it’s easiest to do this piece by piece. Once crumbed I find I get the best results if you place it back into the fridge for an hour or so before cooking to let the crumb set a bit. This can be done well in advance, even the day before.

TARTARE SAUCE

Ingredients

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2T dijon mustard
  • 1T white vinegar
  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • Salt
  • 60g bread & butter pickles
  • 40g capers
  • 10g dill
  • 10g parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • Tabasco sauce

Method

Step 1

Place the egg yolk, mustard and vinegar into a mixing bowl and whisk them together. Slowly pour in the oil whilst whisking continuously to form the mayonnaise base. Squeeze any extra juice out of the pickles and capers and finely chop them together. Finely chop the herbs.

Step 2

Zest the lemon into the mayo base and add the other ingredients, mixing well. Add a few splashes of tabasco sauce to taste if you wish. Add a good crack of black pepper and some salt. It’s best to make this in advance and let it set up in the fridge. It will keep for a few days.

THE BURGER

Ingredients

  • 4 buns
  • 4 pieces of crumbed barramundi
  • Tartare sauce
  • Baby cos lettuce
  • Hot chippies, if you wish

Method

Step 1

Cut the buns in half and have them on a tray ready to grill, cut side up. There is no need to butter them as they already contain plenty. Preheat the oven grill. Pour sunflower seed oil into a pan, about a centimetre deep, and place on medium to high heat. Test the temperature of the oil but sprinkling in a few breadcrumbs – if they fry straight away you’re ready to cook!

Step 2

Carefully place the crumbed fish in and cook for about two minutes until golden brown and crispy. Flip the fish and place your buns under the grill. Cook until golden and remove the fish from the pan and place on kitchen paper to drain off any excess oil. Season well with salt and squeeze over some lemon juice from the lemon you tested into the sauce earlier.

Step 3

Place a heaped spoon of the sauce onto each side of the buns. Place the fish onto the base of the bun. Add some lettuce leaves and place the lid on. Serve straight away with some hot chippies.