Barramundi with Chive Spaetzle

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 25

Cook Time: 20


  • 4 Australis Barramundi filets
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces canola oil
  • 2 cups chive spaetzle (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup truffle vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 6 ounces maitake mushrooms, cut in small pieces
  • ¼ ounce sherry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper (for seasoning)

Truffle Vinaigrette

  • ¼ Cup shallot, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 Cup chicken stock
  • ¼ Cup sherry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 Cup truffle oil
  • ½ Cup vegetable oil
  • ½ Cup olive oil


  • 6 bunches chives
  • 1 oz water
  • 24 oz AP flour
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • ¾ - 1 C milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ounce canola oil


For the Spaetzle:

  1. Prepare a small bath of ice water and salt.
  2. Heat a small stock pot with salted water until it boils.
  3. Blanch chives in the boiling water for one minute then cool them in your ice bath. Do not discard your water.
  4. Puree the chives in a blender using just enough water to make the herbs catch in the blades of the blender. You want your puree to be nice and thick.
  5. Combine flour and lemon zest.
  6. Combine the chive puree with milk and season with salt and pepper.
  7. In a kitchen aid mixer, make the dough by pouring the liquid into the dry ingredients.
  8. Knead this mixture until it comes together completely. It should have the consistency of pasta dough.
  9. Gather a spaetzle cutter, canola oil, a slotted spoon and a large flat pan. Make sure your water is boiling again and properly salted.
  10. Place 1/6 of the spaetzle dough in the cutter and squeeze it out through the holes into the boiling water.
  11. Simmer the spaetzle for a minute or two until it floats.
  12. Stir the pot with the slotted spoon as soon as the dough is dropped into the water to prevent sticking.
  13. When the spaetzle is floating it is done. Remove it from the pot with the slotted spoon, and place it in the large flat pan to cool.
  14. Add the oil to the pan so that it will not stick. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough.

Store the spaetzle in the refrigerator for no more than two days in a container with a tight fitting lid.

For the Vinaigrette:

  1. Place shallots and chicken stock in a small sauce pot, simmer this mixture and allow it to reduce in volume to ½ cup.
  2. Add the vinegar.
  3. While the mixture is still warm, slowly add the oils whisking constantly to emulsify.  This can be done by hand with a whisk, or in a blender on low speed.

Keep this warm until ready to use. The extra vinaigrette will keep well in the refrigerator for one week.

For the fish:

  1. Preheat a large sauté pan over high heat.
  2. Season the fish filets on both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. With a pastry brush, spread butter on the skin sides.
  4. Add ½ the oil to the pan.
  5. Place the filets in the pan skin side down and reduce heat to medium. Do not overcrowd the pan as this will effect how the fish cooks. Cook the fish in two batches if necessary. (Note: if the fish still has the skin, when the barramundi first hits the hot pan the skin will force it to curl up slightly. Apply light pressure to the top of the fish with a spatula to keep the skin from curling up.  After the first 30 seconds or so this should stop).
  6. When the fish (skin) is golden brown (about 3-4 minutes) flip and allow it to cook briefly on the flesh side, basting with the liquid in the pan.  Remove fish from the pan and place on a towel in a warm place.
  7. While the fish is cooking heat a small sauté pan over medium high heat.
  8. Add the spaetzle and sauté until light brown and crisp.
  9. Add the mushrooms and keep cooking for 4 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.
  10. Finish the mushrooms by adding ¼ ounce of sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. Remove everything from the pan to an absorbent towel.

To serve, present this dish in a large plate or bowl for each person. First make a pool of sauce in the center of the plate. Spread it out in a large circle with a spoon. Next place the spaetzle and mushrooms in the center of the plate. Place a barramundi filet on the pile. Serve hot.

Recipe Source:

Created by Rick Moonen

Chef/Owner of RM Seafood, Las Vegas, NV and author of Fish Without A Doubt

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