At yesterday's farmer's market in Pasadena I picked up a small piece of barramundi to do a little test for a dish that will go on the menu at the next “night in” supper on January 16. So far, here is how it goes:
Preheat your oven to 375°. I made a small amount of fish stock from the flap of the barramundi and the shells from 3 huge shrimp I also picked up (for another dish). Combine the fish and shells (or whatever fish parts you have; you could make a simple, spicey vegetable stock if you prefer) in a saucepan with a halved tangerine, some celery, an onion, thyme, parsley, a red jalapeno, a knob of ginger, some fennel seed, a little white wine, and water. Cook for 45 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside. Cube and parboil some yukon potatoes; set aside. Slice on the bias: green garlic, red spring onion. I had kohlrabi and made some little matchsticks. Slice some peeled ginger into thin strips. Set these slicey items aside. For garnish, cut a few thin rounds of watermelon radish and julienne. Julienne some pickled ginger. Combine in a small bowl with some pickled ginger juice and a touch of salt. Reserve. Start a saute pan on the heat, get it ripping hot, season your fish, sear the skin side, flip it, and finish it in the oven. While you are cooking the fish, get some of the stock boiling in a saute pan. Add the green garlic, sliced ginger, and kohlrabi and cook a minute or so. Add the cooked potatoes and green onion. Season. Add a knob of butter and a generous handful of pea shoots. Taste it. Adjust it. Plate it, including broth. Plate the fish skin-side up. Place some of the radish/ginger mix on the fish and scatter some around the dish. Eat. Think about how to tweak this whole shebang in large and small ways (use black cod?, find shell peas, use peas in dish, make stock from pods?, drop the kohlrabi?, more chile heat in the broth?, sweeten broth with tangerine juice?, etc.), and about the big shrimps that are going to poach in the remaining stock and get mixed up with some blood oranges, greens, and some sort of harisa vinaigrette for a late afternoon snack.