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Old 09-06-2005, 12:18 PM
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Default Grilled Fish in Banana Leaf

Grilled Fish in Banana Leaf

This recipe illustrates the popular use of banana leaves as a food
wrapper in Asia. Aluminum foil works well as a substitute.

Serves 4 as part of an Asian multi-course menu


3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander root
1 slice fresh ginger, quarter sized crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 pounds whole snapper or striped bass or 4 whole trout
1 large banana leaf (or more if needed)
vegetable oil (for oiling leaf)

Chile Lime Sauce:

3 small green serrano chiles seeded and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup chicken stock


In a mini food processor, add the garlic, peppercorns, coriander root
and ginger; process into a fine mince. Transfer into a mortar and
pound into a smooth paste, add soy sauce and blend thoroughly. Clean
fish and pat dry with paper towel. Rub garlic mixture over entire
fish, set aside for 30 minutes.

Choose a banana leaf about 6 inches longer and 3 times wider than the
fish. Rinse leaf with cold water to clean. Plunge leaf into a pot of
boiling water for a few seconds to soften. Wipe dry. Using a knife or
scissors, remove the thick spine in the leaf. Place the leaf with its
glossy side down on a work surface. (Use more leaves if needed.)

Brush oil on the leaf where the fish will lie. Set the fish with the
marinade on the oiled surface. Fold over the wide sides overlapping at
the top and secure with toothpicks. Turn over package, fold over ends
to enclose sides and secure ends with toothpicks to make a neat
parcel. Set packet about 3 inches above medium high heat coals and
grill each side for 8 to 10 minutes.

Note: If using trout, marinate the 4 fish together. Wrap each 1
individually and reduce the grilling time to about 3 minutes on each

Transfer to a serving plate. Open leaf and serve with accompanying

Chile Lime Sauce:

In a mortar or a mini food processor, add the chiles, garlic,
coriander leaves, sugar and salt, pound (or chop) into a smooth paste.
Put chile mixture into a saucepan with lime juice and stock, bring to
a quick boil and allow to cool.

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