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Banana Leaf Fish

October 31, 2010

~ Mary ~


We’ve had these cute little bundles of flavor all summer long and I’m just now getting around to telling you about them.  I’ve always wanted to wrap fish in banana leaves, and when the A&G had said leaves in their freezer section, I pounced.  Then sadly they sat in my freezer for, well, forever.  But don’t worry if you can’t find any you can use foil as well, or just poach them with a little water in a frying pan on the stove.  Either way you’re a winner!



One of the reasons we’ve had them so often is not only because they’re delicious, but I make up a bunch of the herb paste and freeze it in individual servings.  I also served it with the wonderful Asian Slaw.



Banana Leaf Fish

from Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue!


2 Firm Fillets of white Fish about 3/4″ thick Halibut would work well,  I use Shark

2 Banana Leaves or one large one cut


Herb Paste

Plan ahead and make this 12 hours ahead of time.

With a mortar and pestle (or a food processor) combine and pulverize into a thick paste:

2 Stalks Lemon Grass trimmed and cut crosswise

1/4 Cup Thai or regular Basil Leaves

2 Cloves Garlic

handful Chopped Cilantro

1-2 Serrano Chili Peppers seeded

1 tsp Kosher Salt

2 Tbsp Sesame Oil


Place a square of banana leaf or foil on the counter and a spoonful of herb paste in the center.


Place the fish on top and another spoonful of herb paste.


Wrap up the fish with foil or banana leaf like an envelope or a burrito.


Let the fish marinate for 2 hours in the fridge.


Grill over medium-high heat until fish is 140°


Optional to serve with this Dipping Sauce.  We found it distracting.

Combine in bowl:

1/4 Cup Honey

1/4 Cup Fresh Lime Juice

1/4 Cup Fish Sauce

1/2 tsp Garlic minced

1 Hot Chili Pepper thinly sliced

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2010 3:24 pm

    Great fish recipe. I like to do fish foil pouches with potatoes and onions. Your Herb paste sounds fab. I’m wondering if the banana leaves would work instead of foil. The herb paste would be a great flavor for the potatoes too.

  2. Pat permalink
    October 31, 2010 11:35 pm

    We do fish in foil a lot. I usually use butter-mushroom-sherry or onion-lemon-dill seasonings. The paste sounds delicious for a change of pace. Why did your fish turn pink?

    • foododelmundo permalink
      November 1, 2010 7:46 am

      That’s the color of the shark when it’s raw.

  3. November 1, 2010 11:53 am

    I am not a huge fan of fish, but my local ethnic grocery store sells fresh banana leaves – I saw them over the weekend and thought “I wonder what you do with those?” Now I know!

    Happy Monday!

  4. November 4, 2010 8:18 am

    Now, that’s cool. I’ve only really seen banana leaves with the Vietnamese sticky rice dumpling things, so fish sounds like such an interesting variation…

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