This is the second service of barramundi, utilizing the belly meat as a roulade which is slow cooked in the oven. The seasoning of lemon zest and sesame oil permeates the fish and provides as haunting bright background flavor to the fish.
Barramundi Belly Rolls
Two Barramundi belly sections
Zest from two lemons minced
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Fleur de sel
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 anchovy filets
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of capers in brine
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
Two large clusters of maitake mushrooms
1/2 cup of fresh Basil
1/2 cup of fresh Parsley
1/2 cup of fresh Lovage
1/2 cup of fresh Arugula
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of white sesame seeds
Lay the fish bellies out on a cutting board and butterfly them with a knife so that they lay flat. Cover the bellies with a sheet of plastic wrap and then firmly pound them flat with a meat mallet. When the bellies are of a uniform thickness, remove the plastic wrap and season the top with salt, sesame oil, olive oil and lemon zest. Flip the bellies over and season with salt. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap out on a flat surface and then lay the bellies out on top. The bellies should overlap a bit and form a rough rectangle. Use the plastic wrap to roll the fish into a tight jellyroll. When the fish is rolled, use another sheet of plastic to reinforce the roulade of fish. Set in the refrigerator to chill and firm.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. When the butter is melted, add the anchovies and pepper flakes. Cook over a low heat so the anchovies break apart and dissolve into the butter. When the anchovies have disappeared, add the capers soy sauce and red wine vinegar. Remove the mixture from the heat. Puree this base mixture and then pass it through a fine meshed sieve.
Lay a sheet of aluminum foil on a counter. Brush it lightly with olive oil. Break the mushroom clusters into small chunks and lay on the foil. Pour the anchovy-butter base over the mushrooms and turn them around on the foil so they are coated evenly. Top the mushrooms with another layer of foil and systematically crimp the two sheets of foil together to create a sealed foil package.
Blanch and shock each of the herbs separately and then squeeze them dry. Heat the olive oil and sesame seeds together in a small pan and when the sesame seeds turn just blond, remove the pan from the heat. The residual heat of the oil will finish toasting the seeds. When the oil is cool, puree it and the seeds with the herbs in a blender. Season it with a pinch of salt. A fine puree will result. When the puree is silky smooth, remove it from the blender and pass it through a fine meshed sieve. Reserve the puree in the refrigerator.
Heat one oven to 400 degrees and the other to 200 degrees F. Place the mushroom package in the hot oven. Remove the cylinder of fish belly from the refrigerator and slice into 8 equal portions. Lay the fish on a foil lined sheet pan, which has been brushed with olive oil. Place the fish in the oven still with the plastic around the outside of the slices. Cook for 20 minutes, until firm but translucent. Remove the fish from the oven and set in a warm place to rest. Meanwhile, the foil package should have ballooned and the mushrooms inside cooked to a firm tenderness. Remove the mushroom package from the oven, carefully cut open the package releasing the steam. Remove the mushrooms and set on a plate. Pour the mushroom juices into a saucepan and place over low heat. Whisk in two spoonfuls of the herb puree and set aside. Place a spoonful of the herb puree on each of four plates. Top with the two roulades of fish (make sure to remove the plastic) Top the fish with a cluster of mushrooms and then pour the mushroom-herb sauce over the top.