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Thai Fillet of Fish Baked in Banana Leaf (or Foil)

User Rating 5 Star Rating (7 Reviews)

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Fish in Banana Leaf

Fillet of Fish Baked in Banana Leaves - an Exotic Delight!

Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, 12/15/08
You'll love this tender and wonderful-tasting Thai baked fish. Slathered in a fragrant coconut sauce, the fillet is then wrapped in banana leaves (OR tin foil/parchment paper) and baked in the oven. Coconut rice makes an excellent optional accompaniment (see recipe link), or serve with plain rice or potatoes. Nearly any type of fish will work in this recipe, including salmon, red snapper, cod, tilapia, sole, etc...) An easy and healthy fish recipe that's also fun to make, and the taste is truly gourmet. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: SERVES 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 fillets salmon, red snapper, cod, or other fish, preferably fresh, but frozen will work too
  • 1 pkg. banana leaves (if frozen, thaw for at least 1/2 hour) OR 2-4 sheets parchment paper, OR tin foil
  • COCONUT MARINADE/SAUCE:
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger), sliced
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • handful of basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1/2 can good-quality coconut milk
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, snipped into slivers with scissors, OR 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 fresh red chili, sliced, OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili from the spice aisle
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • juice of 1/2 lime

Preparation:

For an easier version of this recipe (with pictures), see: How to Make Thai Fish in Banana Leaf Packets with Coconut-Basil Sauce.

  1. Place all marinade/sauce ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and process well. (Alternatively, chop ingredients up finely and stir together.) Place fish fillets in a large bowl and add 1/2 the marinade. Reserve the rest for later.
  2. Slather the marinade over both sides of the fish, then let it sit in the refrigerator 10 to 15 minutes. Tip: If you're pressed for time, you can cook the fish immediately, as the flavors are so strong, they will still permeate the fish sufficiently.
  3. When fish is done marinading, spread a banana leaf approximately 1 foot square on a working surface (you will have to cut the leaf) - or the equivalent of parchment paper or tin foil. Place one fillet in the center of the leaf/paper/foil.
  4. Fold both sides of the wrapping material over the fish, then fold both ends to create a square "packet". Turn it seam-side down to keep sides from opening (unless using foil, which will stay by itself). Do the same for the other fillets.
  5. Place packets in a glass casserole dish or pie plate (to catch the drippings in case packets leak) and bake for 15 min. at 350 degrees, or longer depending on the thickness of the fillets.
  6. After 15 minutes, open one of the packets. Insert a fork into the center of the fillet or steak (the thickest part) and gently pull back. If inside flesh is opaque and no longer transparent, the fish is cooked. If not, return to oven for another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Over low heat, warm up the reserved curry sauce/marinade.
  8. To serve the fish, scoop several spoonfuls of white rice onto the side of the fish (right on the banana leaf, if using). Spoon some curry sauce (marinade) over the fish, then add a sprinkling of basil and/or coriander leaves.

Serving Tips: This dish goes especially well with Easy Thai Coconut Rice. Serve with a chilled white wine or blush, or a cold lager, and enjoy this "quintessentially Thai" eating experience!

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Exceptional baked fish (haddock) dish!!!, Member frankmosher

Had frozen banana leaves in freezer, never knew how to use them. Fairly recently, learned about soaking them. Our favourite way to have baked haddock! In a rush, (or cooking for two) one can put a banana leaf on bottom, sauce and fillets on top of that, and then another banana leaf on top. Just exceptional!! Can be a bit hot! Have done the packets, and the foil, all great! If you want to impress someone, this dish will do it!!! You can't buy this dish anywhere in North America!!!

5 out of 5 people found this helpful.

See all 7 reviews

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