Recipe: Vicki Ravlich-Horan | Photography: Ashlee deCaires

Much like fish en papillote, cooking fish wrapped in banana leaf results in a tender fish steamed in an aromatic parcel. The banana leaf will add a little flavour but is not meant to be eaten. If you can’t find banana leaves (we got ours from Bidfresh Hamilton but you can try the frozen section of Asian stores) you can use tin foil.

We used snapper and I prefer doing a couple of small ones than one large one. Note the cooking time will depend on the size of your fish, below is based on a 500–750g gutted fish.

1 whole fish
1–2 large banana leaves*
1–2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp ginger, grated
handful of fresh coriander
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 lime, sliced
Optional: chilli, diced tomato

Make three to five slits on each side of the fish. Fill its cavity with some of the lime, ginger, garlic, (chilli if using) and coriander, sprinkling the remaining over the fish. Drizzle with fish sauce.

Wrap the fish in the banana leaf and secure with string. Grill over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes on each side, depending on the size of the fish. Alternatively, you can bake your fish parcel in the oven at 180°C for 20-30 minutes.

Unwrap fish and serve immediately.

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