Newly minted Kiln Chef Mitch Orr joined culinary figures around the country last month to mark National Barramundi Day. Many Australians don’t know that more than half of barramundi consumed on our shores is imported, which is why it’s important for chefs and the dining public to #AskforAussieBarra to support local farmers.

Orr was inspired by the “deep south of the USA” when it came to creating the recipe for fried barramundi with Old Bay and green tomato pickle. “This is a little mix of inspiration … a little fried chicken, a little seafood boil,” says the chef.

“It’s also a great way to use up secondary cuts of a whole fish. If you don’t want to use the tail or the wing, you can replace it with pieces of fillet (think popcorn chicken vibes).

Fried barramundi with Old Bay and green tomato


200g barramundi tail or 2 75g barramundi wings
200g cornmeal
15g Old Bay
500ml buttermilk
1 lemon
2 green tomatoes
½ bunch dill
1 bunch chives
½ bunch tarragon
100ml white vinegar
Flake salt for seasoning
20g extra-virgin olive oil
500ml vegetable oil

Pickled tomato method
1. Thinly slice green tomatoes and place in an airtight container. Lightly salt tomatoes and let them sit for about five minutes until they become soft.

2. Finely chop herbs and add to tomatoes. Pour over vinegar and mix well. Let the pickle sit in the fridge for at least three hours to develop the flavour.

3. To serve, drain off the liquid and combine with extra-virgin olive oil.

Fish method
1. Place barramundi tail (or wings), buttermilk and Old Bay in an air-tight container. Stir well to ensure the whole fish is coated in the seasoned buttermilk. Marinate in the fridge for at least three hours, ideally overnight.

2. In a separate bowl, pour in cornmeal. Coat marinated fish in cornmeal and place back in marinade. Coat fish in a second layer of cornmeal. You should end up with a gnarly and uneven crust.

3. Heat vegetable oil to 170 degrees Celsius in a heavy-bottomed pot or a Dutch oven. Fry the fish for five to six minutes, continuously stirring to ensure an even golden crust.

4. Remove the fish and place it on a cake rack or a paper towel to drain excess oil. Let it rest for two minutes and season with flake salt before serving with pickled tomato.