I have moaned and whined constantly on the blog about how expensive Fish is in Perth. For a city that is surrounded by Sea, Fish is not cheap here. However that doesn’t stop me from buying it once in a while, when the need to make something fishy takes over my senses.
Well to be honest Sea food is not cheap in Mumbai either but somehow every family can afford to eat Sea food there. There is something alluring about a piece of beautifully cooked fish that surpasses everything else. In Mumbai my mother in law used to have her weekly trips to “City Light” cinema in Dadar, where there was a small Fish market. The local fisher women would get the catch of the day and lay their wares for the people to see, touch and haggle before they brought them. I used to accompany my mom in law to this fishy world and watch her bargain with her favorite fish monger on the cost of the “Pompfret.
They both knew that she would not leave without the fish but they would play this game of who could bargain better and eventually like always my mom in law would win. She would then hand the priced catch to me and we would move to the next fish monger to buy some juicy prawns. There was something very intoxicating about visiting a fish market in India. The puddles of water, the cats and crows lingering around waiting to grab a piece, the fisher women dressed in their best sarees and heavy jewelry shouting on top of their voices attracting the customers and the smell of the fish. It was like a heady cocktail which I could not resist even though the smells and sights would be disgusting at times.
We don’t get to see all this in Perth. If I want to buy fish all I need to do is walk down to the local Kailis Brothers which is almost like an air conditioned fish studio or go to the Fish section in the local Super market. No ladies shouting, no bargaining, no crows or cats vying for a piece of meat. Everyone behaving in an orderly manner, waiting for their turn to buy what they want. Although the fish I get there is clean and fresh there is no sense of adventure. And I miss that.
So anyways keeping these memories aside I came home with a 1 big fillet of “Barramundi” which cost me $19 to be precise. I instructed “D” that we will even lick the paper in which the fish was wrapped since it was so expensive. Now I did not want to make a curry and drown the fresh piece of Fish in it. So I thought of just lightly frying the fish and making a Lemon and Caper sauce to go with it. I also decided to throw in some Roast vegetables for good measure to complete the dish. And we were happy with the results. The fish was delicate and soft, it would have been destroyed if I would have tried to do some Indian concoction with it. And the Lemon sauce was perfect for the balmy Perth weather.
Here is the recipe (Serves 2 or 3 depending on the size of the fillet. Cooking time 40 minutes )
For the Fish.
1 Big fillet of Barramundi or any other white fish, cut into equal portions (I could make 3 small portions out of my 1 fillet)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp Olive Oil
Clean and wash the Barramundi, pat dry and sprinkle salt and Pepper on top. Let it rest till you get the vegetables ready.
For the Roasted Summer Vegetables (you can use whatever you wish, I used whatever was in my fridge)
4 – 5 Potatoes cut into chunks (I used Royal Blue as they cook fast)
Handful of baby carrots (you can use normal Carrots and just cut them in chunks)
5 -6 Baby Zucchinis
Bunch of Cherry Tomatoes
Bunch of Broccilini
Salt and Pepper to taste
Oil oil to just drizzle on top
Cut the Potatoes and boil them in salted water for 10 minutes. Add the Carrots and Zucchini to the same water and let them cook for another 3 – 4 minutes. Remove all the vegetables and put them in a roasted tray. Now add the Broccilini in the hot water and blanch for 3 -4 minutes. Drain and put it in a bowl of cold water and keep the Broccilini aside.
In a roasting tray add all the vegetables except the brocclini, sprinkle Salt and Pepper and Olive Oil and roast them in a pre heated over at 180 Degrees C for 15 minutes of till browned. When you have around 2 – 3 minutes left remove the tray and add the Broccilini and roast for the remaining time. This is done so the Broccilini does not over cook.
For the Lemon Caper and Butter Sauce
1/4 cup Butter
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
1 1/2 tbsp Capers, cleaned and chopped
1 small Shallot finely chopped
Heat Butter in a pan add the chopped Shallot and fry on a low flame till it is almost Golden in color. Add the Capers and fry for a minute and then add the Lemon juice and Parsley. There you go the worlds easiest sauce is ready. Remember this is not a gravy, it is just a sauce to drizzle on top of the Fish. You can increase the quantity of the ingredients if you are serving more.
Once you add the Broccilini to the roasting pan you need to start frying your fish. Heat a non stick pan and add the Olive Oil. Lightly fry the pieces of Fish till cooked. It takes around 4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fillet.
Lay the Vegetables on a plate and place the Fillet of Fish on it drizzling the sauce for flavor. Serve hot with Chilled Beer or a glass of Wine.