Citrus-Glazed Barramundi Fish Tacos w/ Avocado-Serrano Crema, Toasted Cumin Pepitas and Bicolor Slaw

Serves: 3-4

Prep Time: 1.5 hrs

Cook Time: 10 min


Avocado-Serrano Crema:

    4 medium serrano peppers
    1 large (about 3/4 cup or 170 grams cubed) avocado
    1 tablespoon (14 grams) lime juice
    1 tablespoon (15 grams) sour cream
    1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Toasted Cumin Pepitas:

    3 tablespoons (30 grams) pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
    1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed, lightly crush
    1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seed, lightly crush (optional)

Bicolor Slaw:

    1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) lime juice
    1 teaspoon (7 grams) light agave nectar
    1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
    2 cups (113 grams) thinly sliced red cabbage
    2 cups (113 grams) thinly sliced Napa cabbage

Citrus-Glazed Barramundi:

    1 pound (about 2 large or 3 medium) defrosted Australis barramundi fillets, pat dry
    1 tablespoon (14 grams) refined peanut oil or other neutral-flavored, high smoke point oil
    1 tablespoon (14 grams) lime juice
    1 tablespoon (14 grams) reserved orange juice (below)
    Kosher salt

Tortillas and Finishing Touches:

    1/2 recipe cooked corn tortillas, use 14 grams (1 tablespoon) dough per tortilla (yields 20) and reheat just before assembling¹
    2 tablespoons (1 ounce) crumbled Cotija or Feta cheese (optional)
    2 Valencia oranges or other small orange or tangerine, supreme² and juice scraps (reserve juice for citrus glaze above)
    Lime wedges


Prepare Avocado Crema:

Arrange oven rack about 6″ below broiler, preheat broiler to high. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. Cut stems from serranos, cut a slit down the length of the peppers (but don’t cut all the way through). Place peppers on prepared baking sheet and broil — turning once — for about 3 – 5 minutes or until skin is blistered in spots. Remove pan from oven (don’t turn off broiler, you’ll need it for the fish!) and transfer roasted peppers to a heatproof bowl; cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Once cooled, discard skin and seeds. Mince peppers and transfer about 2 packed teaspoons (14 grams) to the bowl of a food processor.

Add cubed avocado, lime juice, sour cream and 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt to the peppers in the food processor. Run machine until mixture is smooth. Season to taste with additional minced peppers, lime juice and/or salt, if desired. Transfer crema to a bowl, or a pastry bag fitted with coupler and desired pastry tip (I used Petal 104); cover with plastic wrap or twist closed, respectively. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.

DO AHEAD: Crema may be made up to a day in advance — there’s enough lime juice and sour cream to prevent it from browning. For best flavor, remove from fridge about 30 minutes before plating to take some of the chill off.
Toast Pepitas:

Combine pepitas, cumin and fennel seed in a small (about 6″) skillet. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring/shaking pan occasionally, until a pepita or two pop, about 5 minutes. Transfer pepitas and seeds to a small, heatproof plate; set aside.

DO AHEAD: Toasted pepitas may be prepared a day or two in advance. Cool completely, cover and store at room temperature.
Prepare Slaw:

Whisk together lime juice, agave and 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt in a medium mixing bowl. Just before serving, toss cabbage with sweet-and-sour dressing.
Cook Barramundi:

Line a small, rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil; set aside. Cut out 2 – 3 fillet-shaped pieces of parchment paper, equally space on prepared sheet pan (the unexposed portions of a full sheet of parchment will burn under a gas broiler); set aside. Rub barramundi fillets on both sides with a small amount (1/2 – 1 teaspoon each) oil. Combine 1 tablespoon each lime juice and Valencia orange juice (from the supremed citrus scraps) in a small bowl; brush both sides of barramundi with citrus combo, discard leftover juice (very litte, if any).

Arrange fillets atop parchment on the prepared pan. Sprinkle fish with Kosher salt. Set pan under the preheated broiler, and cook just until cooked through and just beginning to caramelize (brown) on top (5 – 7 minutes). Remove fish to paper towel-lined plate, allow to rest for a couple of minutes. With a very sharp knife, cut barramundi fillets against the grain (lengthwise) and pull apart into 20 equal(-ish)-size pieces.
Arrange Tacos:

Onto each tortilla, pipe (or dollop) 1/2 tablespoon (7 grams) avocado crema, top with one piece of barramundi, 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons slaw, scant 1/2 teaspoon each toasted pepita mixture and crumbled cotija cheese and 1 orange segment. Repeat with remaining tortillas and toppings. Serve hot or at room temperature with lime wedges!

¹ Prefer not to make your own tortillas? You’re in luck — Guerrero makes some smaller ones that are pretty close in size to homemade. They’re a little tricky to find, but I’ve seen them at a few Smart & Finals in the Silicon Valley area. Or just use 8 – 10 of the standard, six-inch kind for four-bite tacos, no big deal!

² Remove the skin, pith, membranes and seeds (Valencia oranges have these!), and separate into segments. For a written and visual how-to click here.

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