To prepare the barramundi fillets for pan-frying with crisp skin, lay them on a work surface and dust the skin sides with the rice flour. Place each fillet, flesh side down, on a sheet of baking paper large enough to cover the fillet.
Heat a large cast-iron or heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat (or two smaller pans – it’s essential that the fish is not overcrowded in the pan; see note) and add the ghee. When the pan is hot and the ghee translucent, place the fillets in the pan, skin side down, leaving the paper on the flesh side. Place a 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) weight – such as a heavy pot or another pan – on top of the fillets and cook for 4 minutes, lifting the weight once or twice then moving the fillets gently around the pan so they don’t burn. Reduce the heat to low. Remove the weight and the paper, then, using a spatula, gently flip each fillet to quickly seal the other side. (Cooking times may vary depending on the size of the fish from which the fillets were cut; for more information, see page 437.)
Serve the barramundi immediately, skin side up, with the crushed peas, sour cream and a liberal pinch of sea salt on
the fish skin. Add a splash of lemon oil over the sour cream.
NOTES: Ghee is a type of clarified butter, made by heating the butter to separate the water, fat and milk solids. The water is discarded and the milk solids are left to caramelise with the fat to form a clear, nutty liquid. Good-quality versions are available in gourmet grocery stores and some supermarkets. Although it is used in the recipes throughout this book, feel free to use your favourite oil instead.
If you don’t have a pan large enough for all the fillets, or two smaller pans, cook the fish in two batches. Keep the first batch warm while you cook the second.