Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaves

The only thing that makes the dish cool and tropical is the banana leaves.  It is just your everyday, normally cooked fish, but because it is wrapped in banana leaves, it is like opening a present.  Banana leaves are cool; but the fish is just normal.  So, if you like normal fish, you will have no problem at all with the taste of this recipe!

1 lemongrass stalk (or about a tablespoon of the kind that comes in a tube)
2 green onions (chopped)
2 garlic cloves
1 Tb cilantro (fresh, or 1 tsp. dried)
1 Tb ginger (fresh, the wet kind in the jar)
1/2 tsp hot sesame oil
1 Tb lime juice
1 Tb salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
4 fish fillets
banana leaves

Put everything except the fish & leaves into a food processor and blend until fairly smooth.  If using lemongrass stalk, just use the bottom few inches & bulb, tearing away the outer leaves.

Put the fish in a tray (see picture above).  Score the fish, spread the marinade over it, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

How to wrap:
With two pieces of the banana leaf, make a cross, like this: + and then put the fish on top of the cross.  Each of the ends sticking out from under the fish should be about 1 foot long.  Then, fold up the vertical part first to make a little package out of the fillet.  Then wrap that part up in the horizontal sticky-outy parts.  You want to wind up with a package that is several layers thick, so that it's hard for the juices to escape.

Heat a grill to medium-high (whatever that means for your type of grill.)  Cook on one side for five minutes.  Flip over (this can be tricky; we've used both tongs and spatulas--neither one seems better than the other, but the main point is to do it quickly so that you don't spill too much juice.)  Cook for another five minutes.

Unwrapping can be a little messy to do on a dinner plate.  We usually unwrap it in a baking dish (but at the table so people can see how cool the leaves are) and then serve it up.

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