Seared Barra with Wasabi Ginger sauce
  |  First Published: September 2009

The crisp clean Asian flavours of this sauce complement the barra pieces to perfection.

If you don’t have any sake, then just double the amount of mirin in the sauce. The pickled ginger and mirin are available in the Asian section of most supermarkets.

The recipe uses a red onion because we want the sweetness in the sauce however you could substitute a couple of golden shallots instead.

Beurre Blanc

1/2 cup white wine

2 tsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp minced golden shallot (or 1/4 tbsp minced onion)

2 tbsp thickened cream

1/2 cup butter, chopped

1/4 tsp salt


1/2 cup warm beurre blanc (as below)

3 tbsp sake

3 tbsp mirin

3 tbsp Japanese pickled ginger

1 tbsp grated red onion

1 tbsp wasabi paste (or your desired strength)

3 shallots (green parts only)


4 x 300g barra fillets or pieces

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 clove garlic, finely grated

1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp cooking oil


First prepare the beurre blanc. The quantities shown for this recipe make about 3/4 of a cup of beurre blanc.

In a heavy based stainless steel saucepan, combine the wine, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and shallot. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and continue to cook until the mixture becomes syrupy.

Add the cream and continue to cook until the contents of the pan are reduced by half. Reduce the heat to low, and gradually add the butter, stirring slowly. Do not whisk and don’t let the mixture boil or it will split.

When all of the butter is incorporated, season the beurre blanc with salt and strain.

To keep the beurre blanc warm strain it into a glass bowl and place the bowl on top of a saucepan of barely simmering water.

Next prepare the sauce.

Combine the sake and mirin in a heavy saucepan. Add the ginger and onion, and bring it all to a simmer. Continue to simmer until only about a tablespoon of liquid remains.

Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender with the beurre blanc, wasabi and shallots and puree. Now strain the pureed mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean saucepan or glass bowl.

Keep warm by placing the bowl or saucepan over another saucepan of hot water.

Now place the barra pieces in a shallow glass dish with the soy sauce, garlic and coriander. Marinade for about 10mins, turning the barra over after 5mins.

Melt the butter over a medium-hot heat in a heavy based frypan along with the cooking oil. Adding the oil will stop the butter from burning and infuse a bitter taste to the completed recipe.

Add the barra pieces to the hot pan and cook for about 2-3mins on each side. Cooking times will depend on the thickness of your barra pieces.

The barra is cooked when the fish is a little opaque in the centre when it is removed from the pan. Remember fish continues to cook for a little while even after being removed from the heat.

To serve, place the pieces of the barra on individual serving plates and drizzle the warm wasabi ginger sauce around the fish.

To take the concept up a level, you could place the barra on a bed of sautéed potato slices before drizzling with the sauce. You could also try adding a scattering of finely chopped pickled ginger over the barra.

The seafood in this recipe was supplied by Princess Charlotte Seafoods ph (07) 3256 9175.

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