Snapper in a Banana Leaf

    40 mins

This traditional method for grilling fish uses a banana leaf to hold the fish together, steam it to perfection while allowing the great smoke flavor to gently soak into the package. This is a great way of grilling fish that is delicate because the banana leaf holds it all together and lets you add anything you want to the packet. The Chile Lime Sauce is great for any fish and really gives this dish a lot of flavor.

What You'll Need

  • 2 pounds/900 g snapper
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL fresh chopped coriander root
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL fresh ginger, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 mL salt (optional)
  • 1 large banana leaf
  • vegetable oil
  • Chile Lime Sauce

How to Make It

Combine garlic, black pepper, coriander root and ginger in a blender or food processor. Mix into a paste. Add soy sauce and continue blending until well mixed. Set aside. Clean and pat dry the snapper with a paper towel. Rub mixture over the surface of the fish. Set aside for about 30 minutes. Preheat grill. Take a banana leaf large enough to wrap the fish (you can cut up the fish if you can't find a large enough leaf) and wash it thoroughly.

Blanch the banana leaf in hot water for a few seconds to soften it. With a knife or scissors remove the thick spine from the leaf and place it on a working surface shiny side down. Brush vegetable oil over the part of the leaf the will be in contact with the fish. Place the fish on the banana leaf and fold the leaf to completely enclose the fish. Secure with toothpicks or skewers.

Place the package on a medium hot grill and cook on each side for about 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent the banana leaf from burning. It will blacken in parts, but it shouldn't be allowed to burn through. After about 16 minutes remove the packet from the grill to a place where you can work on it and gently open enough to test the fish for doneness. The fish should flake easy with a fork and have an opaque appearance through to the center. If the fish isn't done, secure the package and return to the grill. When the fish is done transfer it to a serving platter and serve. It's more dramatic if you open the banana leaf at the table. Serve with Chile Lime Sauce.