Crispy skinned barramundi with caramelized lemon and brown butter crumbs is utterly delicious! Serve this buttery fish with rice, sauteed vegetables or a leafy green salad.

I have fallen in love with barramundi.

Barramundi with Caramelized Lemon l SimplyScratch.com

You remember last month when I shared with you that killer Thai Coconut Curry Poached Barramundi, right? Well I’m still fan-girling over this fish. For my friends that may have missed it… barramundi is a healthy and sustainable fish that you can find at your local Trader Joes, Whole Foods and many more retailers. Barramundi is a firmer white fish that is high in protein, low in fat and fewer calories than salmon… no offense salmon, we still love you.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com barramundi

So while I was at Trader Joe’s picking up more barramundi, it dawned on me that I wanted to make a recipe that was easy and showcased the fish in its entirety. No fancy sauce, no fancy herbs… just lemon. Okay and brown butter crumbs and couscous… but hey.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com ingredients

This recipe takes about twenty-five minutes tops. All you need is lemon, butter (holla!), Panko breadcrumbs, s & p… parsley flakes are totally optional however the barramundi is a necessity.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com butter 1

For the crumbs, start by melting four tablespoons of butter in a small skillet.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com melted

Heat over medium heat. The butter will begin to bubble and foam a bit.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com brown

Once the milk solids start turning that golden brown color…

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com add in breadcrumbs

…it’s time to turn off the heat and throw in the Panko. I chose whole wheat Panko crumbs because I had it in my pantry but you could use either kind.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com season

Season with kosher salt, black pepper and the parsley flakes (which I primarily use for color).

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com toss

Stir and set off to the side.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com pat dry

Barramundi has excellent skin for crisping. To achieve the ultimate crispy skin you’ll want to pat the skin dry with a piece of paper towel.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com sear

Heat a 10 inch skillet with enough extra light olive oil to coat the pan. Once the pan is hot, lay the barramundi down skin-side first and season the top with more salt and pepper.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com press

Press firmly with a spatula so the skin crisps evenly. Cook the fish for 6-8 minutes or until 3/4 of the way cooked.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com lemon wedges

Meanwhile I sliced up a half a lemon into 6 wedges.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com lemon squeezee

Then I ever-so-carefully flipped the fish, dropped in a few lemon wedges to caramelize and squeezed two lemon wedges into the center of the pan and not over that perfectly crisped skin.  

Oh and you’ll know when the fish is ready to flip because the skin comes away from the pan effortlessly. Continue to cook the fish for 3-4 more minutes letting it absorb that lemon juice, turning the lemon wedges once they have turned a deep brown on one side.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com peel

Once the barramundi is fully cooked, remove the fish to a plate or cutting board and carefully peel back the skin.

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Lemon + Brown Butter Breadcrumbs l www.SimplyScratch.com crispy!

Throw the skin back into the pan (crispy side facing up) to crispy up the underneath. This should only take a minute or two. This step is totally optional, but it give the skin a crispy chip-like texture that I happen to love.

Barramundi with Caramelized Lemon l SimplyScratch.com

Serve the crispy skinned barramundi over couscous, rice or whatever you have on hand. Then top the Barramundi with Caramelized Lemon with the brown butter crumbs and garnish with a few of the caramelized lemon wedges. You’ll get to squeeze those beauts over top.

Barramundi with Caramelized Lemon l SimplyScratch.com

This barramundi with caramelized lemon dish is so rustic and yet so elegant. It all comes together easily and the flavor combo is one that any fish lover will enjoy. I made this recipe for my daughter and I and we both scraped our plates clean. I just know you’ll love this as much as we did!

Want more recipes featuring this fab-o fish? Here are eight delicious and inventive ways to enjoy barramundi.

Enjoy! And if you give this Barramundi with Caramelized Lemon recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Barramundi with Caramelized Lemon l SimplyScratch.com

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Caramelized Lemon + Brown Butter Crumbs
Yield: 2 servings

Crispy-Skinned Barramundi with Caramelized Lemon + Brown Butter Crumbs

Barramundi is seared, crisping the skin and steamed in lemon. Served with brown butter breadcrumbs and caramelized lemon.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Additional Time 11 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • olive oil
  • 2 (6-8 ounces each) barramundi fillets, thawed and the skin patted dry
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 lemon wedges
  • rice, couscous or past, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a small skillet heat four tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once the butter starts to turn a deep golden brown, turn off the heat and add in the Panko breadcrumbs. Stir and add in a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper, plus a half teaspoon of dried parsley flakes and set it off to the side.
  2. Pat the barramundi skin dry with paper towels and season it with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper.
  3. In a 10 inch skillet {preferably cast iron} add in enough olive oil to coat the pan and preheat over medium-high heat. Once hot, lay the barramundi skin-side-down into the oil. With a spatula, press the fish so the skin will crisp evenly. Cook the fish for 6-8 minutes or until it is 3/4 of the way cooked. Season the exposed barramundi with more salt and pepper before carefully flipping. You'll know the fish is ready to flip when the skin comes away from the pan effortlessly.
  4. Continue to cook the fish for 2-4 more minutes. Meanwhile place four of the lemon wedges in the skillet to caramelize and squeeze in the remaining two wedges into the center of the skillet {not over the fish}. Once full cook remove the fish to a cutting board and carefully peel of the skin. Lay the skin with the crispy side facing up and cook for a minute or two.
  5. Serve over couscous or rice, top the fish with half of the brown butter crumbs and garnish with a few of the caramelized lemons.
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