Cha Ca Barramundi with Burnt Butter Nuoc Mam

Cook Time 30 minutes + marination time

Servings 2


2 x 180g portions Barramundi

5g x white pepper

5g flakey salt


30ml vegetable oil

30g lemongrass, finely sliced

20g caster sugar

20g red onions

8g peeled Ginger

6g turmeric powder

Pinch salt

1 bunch dill stalks (keep fronds for salad mix)

½ mint

25ml fish sauce

Nuoc mam

120 ml water

25 ml rice vinegar

45 g castor sugar

25 ml fresh lime juice

55 ml fish sauce

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp pickled chilli

Burnt butter Nuoc Mam

Butter x 60g

Nuoc Mam x 60ml

Herb Salad

1 bunch chives

1 bunch dill fronds

1 bunch spring onion


Mix all together, blend the ginger, onions and lemongrass into a paste, Pulse the remaining ingredients together ensuring not to over blend. Once blended marinate the barramundi fillets in the marinade, and allow to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour but no longer than 24 hours.

For the nuoc mam, in a pot, heat the sugar in the water until it dissolves. Mix this in with the rest of the nuoc mam ingredients in a bowl.

Heat butter until solids split out, it will foam up but it will disappear and at this point, the milk solids will start to caramelise. These will catch on the bottom of the pot so be careful not to burn it. The brown butter will realise a nutty aroma that is a good indication that it is ready. Once cooled slightly, slowly add nuoc mam and stir regularly until set as this will incorporate evenly.

Wash and julienne the spring onions, pick dill and cut chive batons. Wash in iced water and spin dry.

To assemble, preheat the oven to 180C.

Sear the barramundi fillet skin side down on preferably a barbeque but a pan will do.

Once charred, transfer into the oven for 10-14 minutes. The barramundi will release a white juice, this is a good indication that it's cooked. Allow the barramundi to rest for 5 minutes.

Place the herb salad in a serving bowl, place the barramundi on top of the salad and pour the burnt butter nuoc mam overtop. Season with salt and white pepper.

Scott Lord

Head Chef at New Quarter


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