Barramundi Tacos with Asian Slaw & Sesame-Soy Yogurt
Chef Christopher Koetke
Dean, Sun Valley Culinary Institute
In this recipe, Chef Koetke, dean of the Sun Valley Culinary Institute, fuses Asian flavors into a fish taco. A traditional Chinese family would probably not serve this dish at a New Year banquet, but the ingredients complement each other and combine two favorite cuisines. Barramundi is a sustainably produced cost-effective fish that is becoming more widely available in foodservice.
¾ cup water
½ cup sugar
½ cup white vinegar
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. red chile flakes
1 cup julienned daikon radish
1 cup julienned carrot
1 lb. barramundi fillets
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. Chinese 5-spice powder
2 green onions, finely minced
2 tsp. finely minced ginger
2 tsp. roasted sesame oil
3 tbsp. plain yogurt
3 tbsp. tahini
2 tsp. soy sauce
Flour for dredging
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
8 corn or flour tortillas (6-in. size)
Cilantro leaves as needed
Pickled ginger for garnish
1. For Asian slaw, in medium saucepan over high heat, bring the water, sugar, vinegar, salt and chile flakes to a boil; remove from heat. Add daikon and carrot; cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours.
2. For tacos, Place barramundi fillets on a large plate with a deep well or in a wide, shallow bowl. Sprinkle salt, 5-spice, green onion and ginger over fillets. Drizzle with sesame oil and rub in the seasonings. Cover fillets and let marinate in refrigerator for up to 3 hours.
3. For sesame-soy yogurt sauce, in small bowl, mix together yogurt, tahini and soy sauce. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
4. When ready to cook, dredge barramundi fillets in flour. In a sauté pan, heat vegetable oil until hot. (Add an additional tablespoon of oil if needed.) Sauté fillets, turning once, until both sides are crisp and fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
5. Remove fillets from pan and place on paper towels. Once cool enough to handle, break fillets into small pieces.
6. If using a gas stove, heat tortillas over a burner with low flame until hot and charred, flipping once to char both sides. (You may also use an outdoor grill.) If using an electric stove, heat the tortillas in a dry (not nonstick) frying pan or griddle, flipping once.
7. When ready to serve, drain slaw vegetables. In center of each tortilla, place a dollop of yogurt sauce and spread it out evenly toward the edges. Divide the barramundi evenly among the tortillas, placing the fish in a line down the center of each. Top the barramundi with Asian slaw and garnish with cilantro. Fold tortillas and plate tacos with slices of pickled ginger on the side.
Photo courtesy of Complete Culinary LLC