Barramundi ‘larb’ with native Australian flavours

Barramundi ‘larb’ with native Australian flavours

Taste of Australia
4 as an appetiser
15 mins
Cooking time
15 mins
Stuart Scott

Larb or larp is a popular north-eastern Thai dish and is also the national dish of Laos. Essentially it is a sour and spicy meat, fish or vegetarian salad, fragrant with fresh herbs and spices. There are other regional variations in Thailand and the meat or fish can be cooked whole and shredded or minced (ground) and then cooked with the flavourings. As a fan of Australian native spices, I am using those instead.


Quantity Ingredient
50g bean-thread noodles
3/4 teaspoon ground lemon myrtle
1 teaspoon ground native pepperberry
2 x 200g barramundi fillets, skin on
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
80ml lime juice
1 lime, zested
or 2-3 native finger limes
1/2 cup native mint or mint leaves, roughly chopped, plus a few extra sprigs
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 witlof or baby gem lettuces, leaves separated


  1. Place the noodles in a large heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Drain well, cut into shorter pieces, cover and set aside.
  2. Combine the lemon myrtle, pepperberry and a good grinding of salt. Dust this mixture on both sides of the barramundi.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the barramundi, skin side down, and cook for 4 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 more minutes or until crusted. Turn over and cook on the other side until cooked through, approximately 4 minutes more. After 2 minutes add the garlic and ginger to the pan, stirring often.
  4. Remove then slide off the crisp skin and reserve. Place the fish flesh in a shallow bowl and, using two forks, flake the fish, mixing through the garlic and ginger. Season with salt, lime juice and zest or fruit from the finger limes, the mint and onion and mix well. Toss through the bean-thread noodles and taste for seasoning. Cut the crisp barramundi skin into thin shards.
  5. To serve, divide the witlof or lettuce leaves among four plates, top with the barramundi mixture, a few sprigs of mint, extra finger lime pearls, if available, and shards of crisp skin.


  • The lemony, herbaceous flavours here are well suited to a riesling or semillon.

Lyndey’s note

  • This also makes a lovely canapé in witlof leaves. This amount makes around 24.
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