Barramundi

Species Information

Barramundi are a salt and freshwater fish belonging to the perch family. They have large silver scales, which may become darker or lighter, depending on their environment. Their bodies can reach up to 1.8 meters long, though evidence of them being caught at this size is scarce.

The barramundi feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, and smaller fishes (including its own species); juveniles feed on zooplankton. This species inhabits rivers and descends to estuaries and tidal flats to spawn. At the start of the monsoon, males migrate downriver to meet females, who lay very large numbers of eggs (multiple millions each). The adults do not guard the eggs or the fry, which require brackish water to develop.

Cooking & Handling

Store whole barramundi up to 2 days refrigerated.

Barramundi’s flesh is fairly high in oil content, cooking up white with a good flake. It can be eaten with or without the skin.

When available in the store, barramundi is an excellent choice for conservation conscious consumers, and also tends to be lower in mercury than some fish species. For this reason, it is recommended by many health and marine conservation organizations and is becoming much more popular in other parts of the world.

Try barramundi dishes with flavors such as arugula, Asian fish sauce, bok choy, brown sugar, cilantro, garlic, green chilies, lemon, lemon verbena, lime, scallion, shallot and soy sauce.

Cooking Methods

Grill, Sauté, Pan Fry, Broil

Global Supply

Australia

Seasonal Availability

Farm-raised barramundi are available year-round. Wild fish are found year-round in Northern Australia.

Did You Know?

The name Barramundi is Aboriginal for "large-scaled silver fish."

All Barramundi are born male, then turn into females when they are 3–4 years old.

Barramundi's age is determined by counting growth rings on their scales (much like counting growth rings on a tree).

Large female Barramundi can produce 32 million eggs in a season.

Barramundi have been recorded up to 4 feet long and weighing nearly 90 lbs!

Scientific Name

Lates calcarifer

Market Name

Silver Barramundi, Giant Perch, Palmer Perch, Barra

Common Names

Asian sea bass

Substitutions

wild sea bass

Raw Characteristics

  • concave forehead, pointed head
  • large jaw, large scales
  • silvery underbelly, green-gray top

Cooked Characteristics

  • sweet, buttery, delicate flavor
  • moist flesh
  • opaque white
  • medium texture

Pronunciations

Japanese: akame
Spanish: perca gigante