Skill level

Average: 3.9 (16 votes)


  • 200 g barramundi fillet, skin off, cut into 12 pieces
  • 12 small butter lettuce leaves
  • fried harusame (see Note), to serve


Den miso

  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp cooking sake (see Note)
  • 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
  • 140 g (½ cup) white (shiro) miso paste (see Note)


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 4 hours

Drink match Kozaemon Junmai Daiginjo sake. This softer Junmai style of sake, with its aromatics and underlying sweetness, complements the texture of barramundi and the flavour of miso.

To make den miso, place mirin and sake in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer, then, using a long match or barbecue lighter, light alcohol at edge of liquid to flambé and cook off alcohol; keep an eye on flame. When it subsides, remove pan from heat. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Transfer liquid to a bowl, add miso and whisk until smooth. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until smooth and slightly thickened. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Place fish in half the miso and cover withplastic wrap. Marinate for 4 hours or overnight.

Remove fish from marinade and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Preheat grill to high. Cook fish for 2 minutes each side or until just golden; don’t let miso burn. Brush with remaining den miso and cook for a further minute each side or until fish is cooked through and golden.

Place a piece of fish in the centre of each lettuce leaf and scatter with fried harusame.



• Available from Japanese food shops, harusame are clear (cellophane) noodles made from potato or sweet potato starch. Substitute mung bean vermicelli or rice vermicelli.

• Cooking sake is from Japanese food shops.

•  White miso paste is from Asian food shops.


Photography John Reyment