Banana Leaf BBQ Fish

Banana Leaf BBQ Fish

Grilling fish wrapped in a banana leaf prevents the fish from sticking to the grill and imparts a smoky sweet flavour. Banana leaves are available at Asian grocery stores, but if you cannot find them, you can wrap the fish with parchment paper and bake in a 400 F (200 C) oven for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Two whole rainbow trout can be used in lieu of one whole bass.
3 large shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 red finger chilies or red jalapeños, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
6 Tbsp (90 mL) fresh lime juice, divided
1 in (2.5 cm) piece of ginger, chopped
1/2 in (1.25 cm) piece of galangal,* chopped (optional)
1 fresh lemon grass stalk, trimmed and tender inner white part minced
1 tsp (5 mL) ground coriander
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) light coconut milk
1 – 1 lb (450 g) whole bass, gutted, fins and gills removed, and scaled (you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
Large piece banana leaf

*Galangal is the edible root of a plant that resembles, and is related to, ginger. It has a wonderful citrusy, earthy aroma but none of the spicy heat of ginger. You can find it at Asian grocery stores.

Using blender or food processor, make marinade by pulsing together shallots, garlic, chilies, turmeric, 1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice, ginger, galangal (if using), lemongrass, coriander, and salt until well mixed and finely chopped. Add coconut milk and process until well mixed. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

Rinse fish and pat dry. Score fish by making 3 or 4 – 1/4 in (0.5 cm) deep slashes with knife on each side of fish. Rub with remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) lime juice and set aside.

Preheat grill, and bring large pot of water to a boil. Plunge leaf into water for a few seconds to soften. Dry well. Place leaf glossy side down on a clean work surface.

Rub half the marinade all over fish and place on banana leaf. Set aside remaining marinade. Fold wide sides of leaf so they overlap at top and secure with toothpick. Fold over ends to enclose sides and secure each side with toothpick.

Grill over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes per side for bass or 3 to 5 minutes per side for trout. Fish is cooked when flesh easily flakes away from bones. Meanwhile, warm remaining marinade in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Transfer fish parcel to serving plate, unwrap or cut open banana leaf, and spread remaining warmed marinade over fish. Serve with brown rice and sautéed baby bok choy if desired.

Serves 2.

Each serving contains: 256 calories; 30 g protein; 8 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 17 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 413 mg sodium

source: “Go Fish!“, alive #356, June 2012

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