Barramundi with Thai coconut sauce

Father’s Day recipe # 1: Barramundi with Thai coconut sauce – gluten free, dairy free and clean.

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It’s Father’s day next weekend so I asked my dad what his 3 favourite dishes were and he said:

Fishermans basket
Fondue bourgiugnonne
Thai seafood dish

I had a seafood dish in mind already and I wanted the recipe to be easy so I simply tweaked it with Thai flavours and came up with this Barramundi with Thai coconut sauce recipe. I think it turned out delicious! It’s just a shame I couldn’t physically share it with dad as we live in separate states so let’s take a rain check on this one, ok dad?
I have two Father’s Day recipes to share with you – a main and a dessert (dessert to be released tomorrow).

Thai food is all about balance of flavour, so don’t skip the lime juice or the herb salad as this gives a lift of zing and freshness to the dish. You can use whatever size fillets tickle your fancy however, my fillets were between 220 and 250 grams.
I used 3 teaspoons of dried chilli flakes in this dish and it was quite hot so if you don’t like too much heat, start of with 1 teaspoon and add more if needed after the coconut milk has been added (the coconut milk will dull down some of the heat).

I love, love love barramundi but rarely eat it. Barramundi is Aboriginal for “large-scaled sliver fish” and ranks as one of the top 3 fish sold in Australia.

In order to keep this dish as authentic as possible, I’ve used organic brown rice although you can use quinoa instead if you prefer.

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Confession time:
I intended to plate this dish differently to how you see it in the picture (ie more sophisticated/fine dining). However, I completely butchered the barramundi and had to hide the evidence. Sorry about that.

As this is a Father’s Day post, I thought I’d share with you how this day is celebrated in other parts of the world:

Thailand celebrates Father’s Day on the birthday of the widely admired King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The King gives an annual speech, while tradition has it that Thais give their fathers and grandfathers the Canna flower, which is considered to have a masculine association.

Father’s day in Russia has evolved from a military commemoration to an unofficial tribute to all men. On February 23 (known as “Defender of the Fatherland Day”) parades celebrate the Russian Armed Forces while men can expect to receive small gifts from the women in their lives.

Father’s Day in France is held on the third Sunday in June and can trace its recent history to a company that made lighters and marketed them as gifts for smoking fathers. Today, lighters are typically replaced with drawings or small gifts.

On the third Sunday in June, though it’s not an official holiday, Mexicans give gifts to their fathers and celebrate with food and music. Some also participate in the 21 kilometer race in Mexico city.

On the 40th day of Easter, Ascension Day, German men organise hikes and other gatherings while making sure to have adequate food and alcohol.

Well that’s it from me today. I will be back tomorrow when I release my ultra healthy yet delicious Father’s Day dessert.

Here’s an overview on what to do

Heat a medium frying pan on medium heat. Fry paste until aromatic.
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Add coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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Add fish sauce, lime juice, coconut sugar and stir through. Adjust to taste. NOTE: If your sauce is a little chunky as mine was, give it a blitz in your food processor until smooth.
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Chop ends off the bok choy. Rinse under water then cut stems from leaves but keep both.
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Heat a frying pan on high heat with a little oil. Stir fry stems for 1 minute.
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Add leaves and continue to stir fry till leaves are just wilted. Remove and keep warm.
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Using same fry pan, cook barramundi on medium high heat with some oil until opaque and flaky.
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While barraumundi is cooking, make the herb lime salad.

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 Why this is so good for you

Barramundi lowers the risk of cancer, helps prevent coronary heart disease, prevents diabetes, strengthens bones and improves vision.

Peanuts reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce the risk of stroke, help prevent colon and stomach cancer, reduce the development of gallstones and provide protection against Alzheimer’s Disease,

Paprika (ground capsicum) helps fight food poisoning, helps prevent aging, helps prevent stroke, helps prevent bladder, cervix, pancreas and prostate cancers, helps reduce gastrointestinal problems, increases metabolism, helps prevent macular degeneration, helps eliminate migraines and headaches; and helps prevent asthma and lung infections.

Brown rice helps prevent diabetes, helps prevent coronary heart disease, helps prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, helps prevent constipation and colitis,helps prevent colon cancer, breast cancer and leukemia, helps prevent anxiety and depression and helps prevent insomnia.

Mint helps promote digestion, helps soothe indigestion, helps prevent cancer, helps give relief to respiratory disorders, stimulates mental alertness, freshens breath and helps inhibit harmful bacteria growth in the mouth.

Bok choy helps reduce the risk of breast, prostate, lung and digestive tract cancers, strengthens bones, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, decreases blood pressure and strengthens the immune system.

Coconut sugar is a natural, unrefined sweetener that’s not addictive like refined white sugar. It aids in digestive health and is low GI so it won’t spike your blood sugar levels and make you feel lethargic later on.

Lemongrass relieves stomach disorders, helps reduce insomnia, helps relieve respiratory disorders, relieves fevers, aches and infections, treats type 2 diabetes, protects the nervous system, detoxifies the body, helps eliminate accrued fats, helps prevent cancer and helps provide relief from nasal blockages, flu and bronchitis.

Ginger inhibits inflammation, helps relieve pain, relieves nausea, boosts immunity, reduces risk of heart attack, helps prevent and treat fatty liver disease and helps relieve gastrointestinal irritation.

Turmeric helps prevent cancer, (especially in the digestive system) can reduce the growth of cancerous cells (especially prostate cancer when combined with cauliflower),  lowers the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke,  prevents and treats Alzheimer’s disease, relieves rheumatoid arthritis, helps treat depression, helps delay ageing, is anti-inflammatory, helps reduce the severity of colds and flu, reduces symptoms of indigestion (bloating and gas), assists in weight loss, controls diabetes, reduces bad cholesterol levels, increases immune strength, heals wounds, helps treat psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions, detoxifies the liver and  is a natural pain killer.

Cumin aids digestion, is a natural laxative, heals infection and wounds in the digestive and excretory system, clears up symptoms of haemorrhoids and helps prevent diabetes, relieves stress and anxiety, helps relieve asthma and bronchitis, helps fight common cold and fights against iron deficiency when menstruating.

Coriander helps control diabetes, aids in digestion, helps proper functioning of the liver, helps reduce diarrhea, reduces blood pressure, helps reduce anemia, protects the integrity of bones, prevents macular degeneration and helps reduce blood pressure.

Coconut/oil speeds up metabolism, reduces the risk of heart disease, reduces the risk of diabetes, improves digestion, increases immune strength, is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic, prevents osteoporosis, prevents stroke and helps prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Onions/Spring onions strengthen the immune system, help regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, help prevent cancer and reduce the risk of gastric ulcers.

Chillies fight sinus congestion, aid digestion, help relieve migraines, muscle, joint and nerve pain, control blood pressure and aid in metabolism for weight loss.

Garlic has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties, supports the circulatory, digestive and immune systems, helps lower blood pressure, assists in detoxification, prevents formation of blood clots, reduces blood pressure, helps with asthma, regulates blood sugar levels in diabetics and lowers the risk of most types of cancer.

Limes improve digestion, relieve constipation, cure scurvy, help combat diabetes, lower blood pressure, prevent heart attack, heart disease and strokes, help heal peptic and oral ulcers, help relieve arthritis; and help cure prostate and colon cancer.


Barramundi with Thai coconut sauce

Yield: Serves 4

* I use a clean fish sauce from the health food shop by Red Boat. Not all fish sauces are the same so start off with 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and then adjust according to taste.


  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 bunch bok choy
  • 4 barramundi fillets
  • For the Thai coconut sauce
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only
  • 3 cm x 3 cm piece of ginger
  • 1 - 3 teaspoons dried chilli flakes according to taste (3 will give a big kick of heat)
  • 2 teaspoons ground paprika
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (to cook with)
  • 1 can BPA free organic coconut milk
  • 1 - 3 tablespoons fish sauce (I used 2 1/2)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • For the herb lime salad
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed, sliced fresh mint leaves
  • 1 large, long red chilli, de-seeded and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 Spring onions, sliced including some of the green part
  • Juice of 1 - 2 limes depending on size
  • To serve
  • Handful of peanuts, chopped
  • Lime wedges


  1. Cook rice according to packet directions. Keep warm. Meanwhile, make the sauce.
  2. Place onion, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, chilli flakes and paprika in a food processor and blitz into a paste.
  3. Heat a frying pan and add some more coconut oil (or oil of choice). Add paste and fry until fragrant.
  4. Add the coconut milk, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the fish sauce, coconut sugar and lime juice. Taste test. Are you happy with the heat, sweetness, saltiness and acidity? If not, adjust according to your personal preference.
  6. Chop ends of bok choy and separate the stem from the leaves. Add some oil to a frying pan and stir fry stems on high heat for a minute. Add the leaves and continue stir frying until just wilted. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
  7. Using same pan, reduce heat and add a little oil. Cook barramundi fillets, 2 at a time.
  8. While the barramundi is cooking, place all herb/chilli ingredients into a bowl and combine with the lime juice.
  9. Serve with chopped peanuts and lime wedges.

2 thoughts on “Barramundi with Thai coconut sauce

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  1. I strongly agree if Barramundi with Thai coconut sauce, is one of the most healthy food, unique and looks delicious
    I will try to make it today, thank you for sharing this special recipe

  2. Wow! This sounds amazing Tash. I’ll give it a try and let you know how it goes.

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