This easy grilled barramundi recipe is perfect for summertime! We're pairing this hearty white fish with easy grilled radishes and adding a burst of color and flavor with a bright, peppery radish top pesto. Ready in half an hour!
We're taking full advantage of grilling season for this ultra-simple meal featuring The Better Fish® barramundi (you remember them from these excellent hoisin fish sandwiches and this lemon garlic fish pasta, yes?)
While barramundi is undoubtedly the star of the show here, a lemon and a bunch of fresh radishes are what really brings this meal to life. Grill the radishes themselves with a bit of salt and oil, then blend the leafy green radish tops into a quick, flavorful pesto for a pop of color!
Ingredients You'll Need
For a full ingredients list with exact quantities, scroll to the recipe card below.
This simple grilled fish recipe hinges on just three main ingredients (plus a bit of oil and a few seasonings!)
- Barramundi! We're using our favorite, sustainably farmed barramundi fillets from The Better Fish® here. Find their Simply Skinless Barramundi Fillets in the freezer section: Just defrost the fish in a bowl of cold water when you're ready to cook it!
- Radishes. Look for bright, fresh radishes with full, leafy tops (you'll use these greens to make your pesto!)
- Lemon brings balance and brightness to this recipe. Juice half of the lemon for the pesto, and cut the other half into wedges to squeeze over the fish once it's grilled. (No lemon? Use lime juice instead!)
- Grapeseed oil helps the fish lift cleanly off the grill grates without burning. Plus, its mild flavor won't compete with the other elements in this dish. Avocado, canola, or vegetable oil also work here!
Riffs and Substitutions
This is a great blank canvas recipe: Mix it up to use whatever you have on hand! Some of our favorite swaps and adjustments:
- Swap the radishes for a bunch of fresh carrots (carrot top pesto is equally delicious here!)
- Choose your own adventure by grilling up any veggies you have on hand (bell pepper, potatoes, corn, zucchini, or portobello mushrooms are all good here!) and using a different pesto (we love our pea shoot pesto, arugula pesto, or garlic scape pesto here!) You can also pair a creamy cilantro sauce or quick butter sauce with this fish.
- Add spices. Toss a sprinkle of paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, or onion powder with the radishes before grilling!
- Mix up the pesto. Add a handful of fresh herbs (fresh parsley, basil, cilantro), spinach, or kale to the pesto to give it a more complex flavor. You can also blend nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds, pine nuts) or cheese (parmesan, asiago, pecorino romano) into this pesto for extra depth.
- Use your favorite neutral oil. We used grapeseed oil in these photos, but you can use whatever you have on hand! Low-quality olive oils can smoke a lot if you use them for grilling, so we typically recommend something more neutral (like grapeseed, avocado oil, canola, or vegetable oil.)
What is Barramundi?
Barramundi - sometimes called Asian sea bass - is a hearty whitefish with a mild, slightly sweet flavor. It's delicate enough to easily flake into large pieces once cooked, but hearty enough to pick up a full bite with your fork without the fish falling apart on you. (It's also packed with omega-3s!)
Barramundi's unique texture holds up well with just about any cooking method (we love it in quick fish fajitas, barramundi chowder, and beyond - check out our barramundi recipes collection for more ideas!)
Sustainably Farmed Fish
The Better Fish® is a pioneer in the sustainable aquaculture movement: Their barramundi was the first ocean-farmed fish to receive a Best Choice rating from Monterey Bay's Seafood Watch program, and the company works with a variety of industry stakeholders to make the fish farming industry as a whole better for the fish, the environment, their workers, and their consumers.
Learn more about barramundi from our interview with The Better Fish® CEO Josh Goldman in this podcast episode!
Step by Step Instructions
Make the Radish Top Pesto
Start by washing the radishes well to remove any grit (Images 1 and 2, above), then trim off the greens (Image 3) and slice radishes in half (Image 4).
Transfer the radish tops to a food processor along with a garlic clove, a pinch of salt, and some lemon juice (Image 5). With the food processor running, stream in grapeseed oil a bit at a time until you have a smooth mixture (Image 6).
Pro Tip: We used grapeseed oil for both the pesto sauce and for grilling the fish in this recipe to keep the ingredients list simple. But if you prefer to use extra virgin olive oil in your pesto (and save the grapeseed oil for just the grilling steps), go for it!
Prep and Grill the Radishes
Place your halved radishes in a small bowl with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of grapeseed oil (Image 7, above) and stir or toss it all together until the radishes are evenly coated (Image 8). Then, it's time to preheat your grill!
Heat a clean grill pan over medium-high heat (or heat up your outdoor grill!) until it's smoking hot. (If you're using an outdoor grill, be sure to clean it well!)
Use a pair of tongs to carefully arrange your radishes in a single layer over the grill grates.
Let the radishes cook until they're charred and slightly lightened in color. Flip them once halfway through cooking to get nice grill marks on both sides! (Image 9, above.)
Grill the Barramundi
While the radishes are cooking, get your barramundi ready to grill.
Start by patting the fish dry with a paper towel (Image 10, below), then brush each fillet with a thin layer of grapeseed oil (Image 11) and sprinkle with a pinch of salt (Image 12). Repeat this process on both sides of the fish.
When the radishes are done cooking, transfer them to a separate plate and set them aside.
Let the grill heat back up for a minute or two, then carefully move the barramundi to the hot grill (Image 13, above).
Cook the barramundi until it begins to turn bright white and opaque around the edges. Carefully flip and cook for another few minutes until it's cooked through. (When it's ready to flip, the fish should lift cleanly off the grill!)
Transfer the cooked barramundi to a serving platter with the grilled radishes, then garnish with a few lemon slices and a drizzle of your radish top pesto!
This recipe makes a light, summery dinner for 2-4 people. It's great on its own, but you can also add a few easy elements (like extra grilled veggies or a loaf of crusty homemade bread) to make it a bit heartier! Some of our favorite sides and pairings:
Yes! This recipe is great with grilled salmon, steelhead trout, cod, mahi mahi, shrimp, or prawns. When grilling seafood, opt for a hearty fish that will hold its shape well on the grill.
To prevent sticking, be sure to 1) brush your fish with plenty of oil; 2) heat the grill or grill pan until it is very hot; and 3) let the fish cook for long enough on the grill (if it's sticking, let it cook another few minutes and try flipping it again!)
Once cooked, barramundi will turn a bright, opaque white color and will flake easily with a fork. You can also always use a kitchen thermometer to double-check that the internal temperature of your fish has reached a safe internal temperature of at least 145° Fahrenheit.
More Easy Barramundi Recipes
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This easy grilled fish recipe is perfect for summertime! Served with grilled radishes and an easy radish top pesto.
FOR THE GRILLED RADISHES:
- 1 large bunch radishes (with leaves still attached)
- 1 teaspoon neutral oil (we used grapeseed)
- kosher salt to taste
FOR THE RADISH TOP PESTO:
- 2-3 packed cups radish leaves (from your bunch of radishes!)
- Juice of ½ large lemon (about 2-3 Tablespoons)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 Tablespoons oil (we like grapeseed oil, olive oil, or avocado oil)
FOR THE BARRAMUNDI:
- 12 ounces barramundi fillets, defrosted
- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil (we used grapeseed)
- salt to taste
- ½ of a large lemon, sliced into wedges, for garnish
- Wash and cut the radishes. Wash radishes well to remove any grit. Trim the radish leaves off and set them aside, then cut each radish in half lengthwise.
- Make the pesto. Transfer radish leaves to the bowl of a food processor. Add lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Add oil one tablespoon at a time, pulsing well in between each addition, until pesto has reached your desired consistency. Set pesto aside. (Tip: Depending on the amount of radish greens you have, you may not need all the oil, or you may need a little more.)
- Prep radishes for grilling. Add halved radishes to a small bowl with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Give the radishes a toss to coat them evenly in the oil, then set aside until you're ready to grill.
GRILL THE RADISHES:
- Heat a grill pan (or use your outdoor grill!) over medium-high heat until it's smoking hot.
- Carefully place radishes on the hot grill. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes, then use tongs to flip them over and cook 3-4 minutes more until you have nice char marks on each side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
GRILL THE BARRAMUNDI:
- Pat each side of your barramundi fillets with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Brush each side of the fish with oil, then season with a bit of kosher salt.
- Lay barramundi down on the hot grill and cook for 3-10 minutes until the edges have started to turn bright white and opaque. Depending on the grill or grill pan you use, the fish may cook more or less quickly - keep an eye on it and trust your visual cues! (Not sure what this should look like? Watch this video for a step-by-step!)
- Use a thin spatula to gently flip the barramundi over on the grill. Let cook another 3-10 minutes, until barramundi is bright white and opaque. (Pro tip: When the fish is ready to flip, it should lift cleanly off the grill grates. If the fish is sticking, let it cook for another minute or two, then try again!)
- Transfer grilled barramundi to a serving platter along with the grilled radishes. Garnish with fresh lemon slices and top with a drizzle of your radish top pesto.
Storing leftovers. Store leftover pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Use extra pesto in salad dressings, as a sauce with meats and veggies, or over pasta (it's great in a tortellini pasta salad!) Let leftover barramundi cool completely, then store in an airtight container. Leftover grilled fish is great in tacos or on top of a quick salad!
Additions and Substitutions. Use carrots (and carrot tops!) in place of the radishes here, or grill up whatever veggies you have on hand (bell peppers, corn, zucchini, or portobello mushrooms are all great here!) Add a handful of herbs (parsley, basil, dill, cilantro) or greens (spinach, kale) to this pesto to give it some extra depth of flavor. You can also add a handful of nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pine nuts) or cheese (parmesan, pecorino) to this pesto if you like. Use salmon, cod, shrimp/prawns, or a hearty fish in place of the barramundi if you like.
Equipment Notes. We used a 10-inch Staub Grill Pan and a 14 cup Food Processor in these photos. If you use a larger grill pan/griddle or your outdoor grill, you may need to adjust the cook time. We cook the radishes and fish separately in this recipe due to the small size of our grill pan: If you have a larger outdoor grill, you can grill the fish and the radishes all at once!
- Serving Size: 4 servings
- Calories: 316
- Sugar: 2.1 g
- Sodium: 430.2 mg
- Fat: 26.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 5.4 g
- Protein: 71.8 g
- Cholesterol: 158.7 mg
Keywords: seafood, grilling, bbq, fish