Fried Barra with Herb Oil + Toasted Pine nuts

by Olivia McCrimmon April 01, 2022 2 min read

Fried Barra with Herb Oil + Toasted Pine nuts

This whole fried barramundi is fresh, savoury and looks impressive in the centre of the table. The fish is fried until crispy and is dressed with a herby, garlicky oil and toasted pine-nuts. It sits on a bed of freekeh, studded with pomegranate and mint for freshness. If you've never fried a whole fish before, no need to be alarmed. All it takes is a wok, hot oil and some salt and pepper and about 5 minutes on each side and you're set!



  • 2C cooked grains - freekeh, brown rice, pearled barley or combination
  • 1L water
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, roughly chopped.
  • 3 tbsp mint, finely chopped
  • 1 pomegranate, deseeded 
  • 2 tbsp pistachios
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Herb Oil

  • 1/2 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp dill, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes - optional
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted


  • 1 baby barramundi
  • 4 tbsp neutral oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. To make the salad, add the freekeh and water into a pan with 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp oil and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until just tender, usually around 15-20 mins. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Stir through the onion, parsley, mint, pomegranate, pomegranate molasses, lemon and season with salt and pepper.
  3. To make the herb oil, combine the coriander, dill, garlic, dried coriander, chilli flakes, olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Ensure the fish is nice and dry and use some paper towel to remove excess moisture. Cut 3 slashes into both sides of the fish with a sharp knife. You just want to cut through the skin, not all the way through to the bone. Salt and pepper the skin of the fish thoroughly.
  5. Add oil into a wok and heat on medium-high heat. Once hot carefully lower the fish in the wok. Give the wok a little shake to ensure that the fish doesn't stick. Don't worry if the fish isn't completely covered by oil as you can just use a spoon to spoon oil over the fish while it cooks.
  6. Fry the fish until is golden on one side, usually around 5-6 mins.