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Steamed barramundi with lime coconut sauce

Bursting with flavour and healthy to boot, Chef Pete Evans lets us on in his secrets for tasty and healthful meals.


  • 4 x 180 g barramundi fillets, skin on

  • 2 tbsp fried onion

  • 1 lime, peeled, segmented

  • 1 makrut lime leaf, thinly sliced

  • micro herbs and thinly sliced red chilli, to serve

Sweet potato purée

  • 800 g sweet potato (kumara)

  • 100 g ginger, chopped

  • 1 tbsp butter

Lime coconut sauce

  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  • ½ bunch coriander, roots and stalks chopped, leaves reserved

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped

  • 1 green bird’s-eye chilli, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger

  • 1 lime, zested

  • 440 ml coconut cream

  • 1 makrut lime leaf, torn

  • 1½ tbsp lime juice

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

Infusing time 20 minutes



To make sweet potato purée, preheat oven to 180°C. Place sweet potato on an oven tray and cook for 1½ hours or until tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, grind ginger in a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste, add 125 ml (½ cup) water and set aside for 20 minutes to infuse. Strain through a fine sieve, discard solids and set aside.

Meanwhile, to make lime coconut sauce, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add coriander roots and stalks, lemongrass, chilli, garlic, ginger and lime zest and stir until just starting to colour. Add coconut cream and makrut lime leaf and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in lime juice and fish sauce. Transfer to a food processor, process until smooth, then strain through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, discarding solids, and set aside.

When sweet potato is cool enough to handle, peel, transfer flesh to a food processor with ginger liquid and butter and process until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

Make a cut in the skin of each fish fillet and place in a lined steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water (you can throw in any Asian aromatics you have around, such as lemongrass, makrut lime leaves or star anise) and steam for 10 minutes or until fish is just cooked. The cut in the skin will turn white when it’s cooked.

To serve, reheat lime coconut sauce, divide between plates and top with sweet potato purée. Scatter over fried onion, then top with a barramundi fillet, lime, makrut lime leaf, reserved coriander leaves, herbs and chilli.

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