Salt-crusted barramundi with pickled daikon and spinach in sesame dressing recipe (shiogama sakana to daikon amazuzuke to horenso no goma ae)
- Cuisine: Japanese
- Serves 8
At the restaurant, Kenji uses the leaves from a mustard-family plant called mibuna but for convenience, we’ve used English spinach. Pickle the daikon a day ahead.
Ingredients100ml cooking sake*
100ml Japanese soy sauce
8 x 150g barramundi fillets
1 lime, sliced
3 tsp ground sansho pepper*
16 bamboo leaves*
500g table salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Thinly sliced red chilli, to serve (optional)
Pickled daikon (daikon amazuzuke)
½ small daikon*
125ml (½ cup) rice wine vinegar
2½ tbsp white sugar
Spinach in sesame dressing (horenso no goma ae)
1 bunch English spinach, washed well
100g goma shiro (white sesame seed paste)*
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp cooking sake
2 tbsp mirin
1 tsp Japanese soy sauce
PreparationTo make pickled daikon, using a sharp knife, peel daikon twice to remove bitter outer layer, then thinly slice into rounds. Toss daikon in a bowl with 2 tsp salt. Stand for 10 minutes or until softened. Rinse well, then squeeze out excess liquid and place in a saucepan with 100ml water, vinegar and sugar. Bring to the boil, then allow to cool. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
To marinate fish, combine sake, mirin and soy sauce in a large shallow bowl. Add fish fillets, skin-side up, then rub lime slices on fish skin and set aside for 5 minutes. Drain, then scatter with sansho pepper and wrap each fish fillet with 2 bamboo leaves.
Preheat oven to 170°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. To make salt crust, combine salt, egg white and 2 tbsp water until mixture resembles wet sand. Add a little extra water, if necessary. Spread half the salt mixture over tray, then place wrapped fish on top. Cover with remaining salt mixture and press to seal. Bake for 25 minutes or until salt crust is hard and lightly browned. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the spinach, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Holding spinach by the roots, dip leaves and stems into the boiling water for 30 seconds or until wilted. Run under cold water then squeeze out excess liquid. Cut into 6cm lengths and discard roots. Place in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
Serve barramundi with the daikon scattered with chilli, if using, and the spinach.
* Ground sansho pepper, the seedpods of the prickly ash, is available from Japanese food shops. Substitute Szechuan peppercorns.
* Bamboo leaves are from nurseries; make sure they are pesticide-free. Substitute dried lotus leaves, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes.
* Daikon, available from selected greengrocers and Asian food shops, is a large type of white radish with a sweet, fresh flavour.
* White sesame seed paste is available from Japanese food shops. Substitute raw tahini.
DRINK 2011 Wine by Brad Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Margaret River ($18)
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 7, pg91.
Photography by Scout Edwards (Whitewall).
If you enjoyed this Salt-crusted barramundi with pickled daikon and spinach in sesame dressing recipe (shiogama sakana to daikon amazuzuke to horenso no goma ae) then browse more Japanese recipes, seafood recipes, baking recipes, prepare ingredients in advance recipes and our most popular hainanese chicken rice recipe.
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