A Closer Look At Australis Barramundi

A while back I wrote a review of Australis brand barramundi in which, although disappointed, I held out hope to give the company another chance. Well that chance has finally come thanks to Julie Qiu, Marketing Director for Australis. After she read my blog post she noticed that I did not get the best example of their fish. She recently contacted me to see if I would like to try some samples that would work well on the grill. Julie, by the way, really knows her seafood and runs an incredibly impressive blog on all things oysters – I highly recommend checking it out.

Australis Packaging

The box arrived unscathed and inside were several good-looking samples of Australis barramundi. The samples I recieved were individually vacuum sealed and well frozen, with plenty of life left in the ice packs. They were all larger than the package I bought at a local supermarket, the largest being a size that I imagine is made for restaurants.

frozen australis barramundi

The Barramundi

These bigger, meatier portions are much more in line with what I had hoped. The composition of the fillets, including the prominent blood line, remind me a little of striped bass, while the skin looks a little like black sea bass. Once thawed you could tell that these samples were far better than my first experience.

barramundi fillets
Skin-on barramundi fillets.

Barramundi Recipes

grilled barramundi
Barramundi on the grill.

In my original review, I cooked barramundi using the pouch method. There are certain fish that I like to cook this way, but I have a feeling that for my tastes I would prefer barramundi grilled or pan seared. So for the first attempt at my second review, I chose two of the skin-on fillets. One should be big enough for my gluttonous appetite and the other will be more than enough for my wife. With luck my 7-year old will get curious and want to try some too.

The plan is just to simply grill these barramundi fillets  on a medium-hot grill. Start by patting the fish dry, season with salt, drizzle with olive oil once the fish loses its chill from the fridge. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side, skin first. Then serve drizzled with a simple sauce made by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, chopped parsely and basil. (sorry for the lack of pictures…we ate it too fast!)

barramundi in brown butter

My second attempt was to cook the skinless  barramundi fillets meunière style like how I prepared the Dover sole this past spring. This time, I added capers to the lemon/butter/herb sauce to make it a Grenobloise. The skinless fillets were firm enough that they held up well to pan frying in butter without falling apart. I cooked the fish in olive oil and butter for about 3 minutes on the first side then 4 minutes on the other.

The Verdict

For the two small fillets that I grilled, the aroma and taste reminded me of grilled mackerel in some ways, which at first, was unexpected. However this made more sense after learning about how barrmundi is high in omega 3. All that oil, plus the whiteish flesh really made me think big fat mackerel more than sea bass. I can also see why Australis compares to farmed salmon, if the fish was pink this could be the new arctic char. One thing I do have to be fully honest about: on first bite my wife and I were a little underwhelmed, but the more we ate it, the more we liked it! Even the darker portions of the fillet – the bloodline, were not too strong-tasting. There was nothing left, which is always a good sign.

barramundi grenobloise

The barramundi Grenobloise however, may have been even better. The golden crust on the fish, plus all that butter and lemon came out excellent even with my mediocre skills. It cooked in no time, just a few minutes per side and with a nice rich flavor with not even a trace of “fishy” flavor. The grill was fast and easy, but I think I may do it this way more often. My wife and I agreed it was delicious and left nothing on our plates.

In conclusion I am very glad I was able to give Australis Barramundi another review, and thanks to Julie for making that happen. It is certainly worth trying and a tasty alternative to many of America’s most sought-after species. It may even change the way you think about farm-raised fish.



  1. Thank you so much for giving us another try, Justin! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it much more the second time around. The larger fillets are indeed reserved for our foodservice customers, but they are sold as a special by QVC every now and then as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, my takeaway is that unless I’m a restaurant or have a great relationship with Julie Qui, I’m bound to be underwhelmed by this product…..


    • Sounds like you’ve already made up your mind, but since that review I’ve had their barramundi a few more times and the only bad experience was the first one. Now that I know I like it grilled or pan fried vs baked, I think that makes a big difference in taste and texture. It’s not that expensive and raised responsibly, so I think it’s worth trying.


  3. I really love the Australis barramundi and so has everyone I’ve cooked them for. I’ve recently been buying the lemon & plain filets from Whole Foods. They’re a great option if some folks in your life “don’t like fish” or if you eat healthy but get sick of the taste or smell of cooked salmon. I like cooking them in a pan with lime/ lemon juice & olive oil and make a butter & capers sauce. This leaves your house smelling mainly like butter & citrus. The barramundi have a light flavor that’s so similar to sea bass that I understand how restaurants call it that. It’s much less durable for cooking, though, and (like this author) I significantly prefer the taste & texture when pan-cooked vs baked. From QVC you can order a larger version & even filets with skin which makes them more durable to cook, but it is pricier @$80 for 8 of the 6oz filets + some gourmet butters.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.