Chef Mel’s FISH AND CHIPS: Beautiful Barramundi with happy yellow celeriac puree and crunchy greens

Post Category: Signature Recipes



180g fish, skin on, per person

Salt and pepper to season

250g black mussels

1-2 limes


This is my little version of fish and chips, it’s fun, quick and colourful.  Best of all you can make the sides in advance and then just cook the fish nice and fresh just before you serve.  This is my favourite recipe for when I am entertaining because it is practically stress free! A beautiful piece of fish needs little masking and if cooked perfectly, will simply shine!

The trick is to cook the fish properly and get the skin sexy and crispy. Soggy fish skin is never sexy and you will need to get that skin crispy.

1 Peel and dice a celeriac bulb and dice into small cubes so that it cookes really quickly.  Put in a pot with 1 tablespoon butter and allos the celeriac to brown and get some delicious flavour, then add 1 clove garlic and 250ml chicken stock and 80ml cream and half a teaspoon of turmeric, reduce the heat and let this cook low and slow.  Once tender, remove from the heat and blend to a puree with a stick blender or food processor until nice and sexy and smooth.


2Heat and grease a non-stick pan with canola, rice bran or grapeseed oil, something that can take a high heat.  Olive oil will make the fish stick to the pan so avoid for this method!  When the pan is hot, place the fish (not skin side) presentation side down, and use your tongs to make sure it doesn’t stick…I just give the piece a little wiggle to make sure it hasn’t stuck, but will create a sexy crust of flavour and colour.

3When the first side is brown (simply look underneath and lift with your tongs) turn it over to do the skin side too.  After about a minute or two you should be able to remove the skin using the tongs. Don’t stress if it breaks or you have to strip-peel it off, it is all part of the rustic glamour of this dish! Place the skin aside and then turn the now skin-free side down to brown it off. When the fish is cooked (check by placing a fork or knife in the centre of the thickest part and if it flakes when you twist it is done!)

4 Place your vegetables into a pan with a lid, add a smidgen of butter or olive oil and stir fry, when nearly tender add the mussels, pop the lid on and let them steam through.

Serve on a bed of the happy yellow celeriac puree, the crispy skin fish, the freshly stirred vegetables and the steamed mussels.  Season with the fresh lime juice and serve!