Masterclass Session 14

From Skin to Bones

Barramundi Fish Soup

Chef: Drew Nocente

Born into a family of Italian heritage, Chef Drew Nocente's passion for cooking and charcuterie ignited at a young age from watching and assisting family members work the home kitchen. 

Host: Divian Nair

Divian Nair is a seasoned veteran in Singapore's media scene who is known and loved for being the main anchor for Singapore radio's second largest English radio programme "Wake up and Go with Div and Jo" on Kiss 92. 

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Chef Drew Nocente loves his fish soup, and chose this dish to showcase efficient techniques that help you be more sustainable with your own cooking. In this class he demonstrates a refined take on his favourite dish and shows how you can you maxmise your ingredients and flavour. 


Daikon Radish






1pc daikon radish
1L water
80g dashi powder (or 3-4 no.s of dashi sachets)

Wash daikon, peel and reserve the peel. Cut daikon in half and use a vegetable turner or a grater to get long, thing daikon radish noodles with half a radish. Rough chop the remaining half of the daikon. Place half the daikon peel and rough chopped daikon into a medium pot with water and dashi, simmer for 1 hour and strain.

STEP 2: Barramundi Fillet

1 1.5-2kg Barramundi, scaled and gutted

Using a sharp knife take the two fillets of barramundi off, reserving the bones for the fish broth. Portion the barramundi fillets into 150g pieces, and pat skin very dry with paper towels. Season with salt just before cooking in final step.

STEP 3: Fish Broth

Remainder of daikon peel, trimmings and chopped daikon
500g fish bones and fish trimming from Barramundi
100g onions, chopped
50g fennel, chopped
50g celery, chopped
50g shiitake mushrooms
4 cloves garlic
3 tbsp bonito flakes
1 6-inch piece of kombu
2 tbsp soy sauce
2L water

Saute garlic, onions, celery and shiitake mushrooms in a little oil till browned and fragrant. Remove vegetables and roast fish bones in oven till golden brown and aromatic. Combine with bonito, kombu, soy and water. Cover and simmer for 6 hours, or cook in a slow-cooker. Strain before using.

STEP 4: Broccoli and Broccoli Puree

1 head broccoli
2 tbsp fish sauce
75 baby spinach

Remove florets from broccoli and save the trimmings and stems. Poach florets in salted water or fish broth till tender, and then saute in a pan for 1 minute, season with fish sauce to taste.

Blanch baby spinach in salted water or fish broth, and poach broccoli stem and trimmings till very tender. Blend spinach and broccoli parts with a little water in a jug blender to obtain a thick, smooth sauce.

STEP 5: Fish Beurre Blanc

Fish Beurre Blanc 
200ml fish broth (from step 3)
100g shallots, finely sliced
100g cream
90g butter
1 lemon
1 g xanthan gum powder
Salt and white pepper to season
2 tbsp finely sliced chives

Gently saute shallots till cooked, avoiding browning or colour. And fish broth to the shallots and simmer to reduce by ¾. Add cream to pot and then blend till smooth. Pass through a fine mesh and then add butter and xanthan gum. Blend once more for a fine finished sauce, and stir through with finely sliced chives.

Once Barramundi fillets have been seasoned, start them in a hot pan skin-side down, cooking for 2-3 minutes on skin side till golden brown and crisp, before flipping and cooking for 1 more minute.

Cook daikon noodles by simmering in boiling daikon broth for 30 seconds.

Assemble the dish by combining daikon noodles with fish broth in a small bowl. Place 2 tbsp of broccoli and spinach puree onto a warm plate, and place seared Barramundi fillet over. Dress the plate with the fish beurre blanc, and garnish with sauted broccoli florets. Serve immediately!