Fish Filet Baked in Banana Leaf

  • 01 of 09

    Step #1: What You Will Need

    Ingredients for Thai Fish WRapped in Banana Leaf
    Ingredients for Thai Fish WRapped in Banana Leaf or Foil. Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, About.com Corp.
    For a 1-page printable version of this recipe, see: Thai Fish in Banana Leaf Recipe

    You will need:

    • 2-4 fish fillets, such as red snapper, salmon, cod, talapia, etc., preferably fresh, but frozen will work too (SERVES 2-4)
    • 1 pkg. fresh or frozen banana leaves OR parchment paper or tin foil
    • 1 shallot
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger), sliced
    • 2 tsp. ground coriander
    • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
    • 1/2 can good-quality coconut milk
    • 1 fresh red chili, sliced, OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili...MORE
    • 1 tsp. chili powder (from your local supermarket spice aisle)
    • juice of 1/2 lime
    • 1 tsp. palm sugar OR brown sugar
    • generous handful fresh basil leaves and/or coriander
    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Step #2: Place Ingredients in Food Processor or Blender.

    Ingredients in Food Processor
    Ingredients in Food Processor. Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, About.com Corp.
    Place the following ingredients in your food processor or blender:
    • 1 shallot
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger), sliced
    • 2 tsp. ground coriander
    • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
    • 1/2 can good-quality coconut milk
    • 1 fresh red chili, sliced, OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili
    • 1 tsp. chili powder (from your local supermarket spice aisle)
    • juice of 1/2 lime
    • 1 tsp. palm sugar OR brown sugar
    Continue to 3 of 9 below.
  • 03 of 09

    Step #3: Blitz & Taste-test Sauce.

    Sauce for Fish after Blitzing
    Sauce for Fish after Blitzing. Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, About.com Corp.
    Process or blend 1 minute to create a fragrant Thai sauce. Taste-test the sauce for a balance of salty, spicy, sweet and sour. If not salty or flavorful enough, add up to 1 Tbsp. more fish sauce. (Note that the sauce will taste less salty once it's cooked with the fish, so you don't want to under-salt it now). If too sour for your taste, add a touch more sugar. If not spicy enough, add more chili.

    Place fish fillets in a bowl and pour up to 1/3 sauce over (enough to marinate fish). Reserving...MORE remaining sauce for later.

    Continue to 4 of 9 below.
  • 04 of 09

    Step #4 - Prepare Banana Leaf (or Foil).

    Cutting Banana Leaf
    Cutting Banana Leaf. Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, About.com Corp.
    Use scissors to cut pieces of banana leaf* (or foil/parchment paper) to wrap fish, spproximately 1 foot square, or large enough to generously wrap fish. (Note: if your leaves require it, briefly rinse with hot water to remove any residue.)

    This is also a good time to preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    (*Banana leaves can be purchased fresh or frozen in Asian/Chinese food stores.)

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Step #5 - Position Fish in the Leaf (or Foil/Parchment Paper).

    Positioning Fish in Center of Leaf (or Foil/Parchment Paper)
    Positioning Fish in Center of Leaf (or Foil/Parchment Paper). Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, About.com Corp.
    Position 1 fillet in the middle of each leaf (or sheet of foil/parchment paper).
    Continue to 6 of 9 below.
  • 06 of 09

    Step #6- Spoon Sauce Over Fish

    Covering Fish with Sauce
    Covering Fish with Sauce. Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, About.com Corp.
    Spoon 1-2 Tbsp. more sauce over fish. You should have a generous amount of leftover sauce - reserve this for serving.
    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    Step #7 - Wrap the Fish.

    Wrapping the Fish
    Wrapping the Fish. Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, About.com Corp.
    Now fold banana leaf over each end of the fillet (right and left sides). Then fold longer sides over fish (like wrapping a present).
    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    Step #8 - Place Wrapped Fish on Prepared Baking Sheet.

    Placing Fish Packets on Tray
    Placing Fish Packets on Tray. Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, About.com Corp.
    Cover a baking sheet, tray, or pan with foil, folding up edges if your sheet is flat to prevent spillage (here I'm using my broiling pan). Place fish packets on the foil, folded side down to prevent fish from unwrapping. Or, secure each packet with a satay stick by weaving the pointy end through the leaf (longer satay sticks can be snapped in half for this purpose). This makes for beautiful presentation if serving company.

    Bake fish packets 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until fish flakes easily...MORE and inner flesh is no longer translucent. Meanwhile, heat up the leftover sauce, bringing it to a gentle boil and then reducing to minimum to keep warm.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Serve Your Thai Fish!

    Serving Thai Fish on Banana Leaf
    Serving Thai Fish on Banana Leaf. Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, About.com Corp.
    Serve fish right in the packets, or plate up by unwrapping fillets and transfering each one to a plate covered with a fresh banana leaf. Top with fresh basil/coriander plus a little fresh-cut chili, if desired. Serve with rice and the warm sauce on the side. ENJOY!