Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thai Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf (banana leaf not required)

My mother was sweet enough to give me some banana leaves she had bought at our local grocery store.  I was totally surprised they even carried them.  Go figure... I guess the world is getting smaller.  I wanted to do something with them immediately so this Thai Steamed Fish came to mind.  The fish is steamed inside the banana leaf with a thick fragrant coconut sauce.  Of course you don't have to use a banana leaf to get this same dish.  You can use parchment paper or aluminum foil instead.  What a flavorful and healthy way of eating fish.  This meal got an immediate thumbs up from all at the table (even my picky son).  I served it with my Sri Lankan fragrant yellow rice and steamed carrots.

  Ingredients for Steamed Fish:
4 (5oz) pieces of white firm fish (I used Cod)
1/2 can of coconut milk
Juice of half a lime
1/2 medium onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 inch of ginger
2-3 Tbs of fish sauce
1 tsp of brown sugar
handful of Thai Basil leaves
1/2 tsp of chili flakes (or to taste)

If you are using banana leaves (wash and set aside).  Take all the ingredients listed above (except for the fish) and blend it well in a blender until it forms a thick sauce.  (Reserve more that half the sauce to heat up and serve with the dinner.)   Place some sauce on the banana leaf then the fish and more sauce on top of the fish.  Fold the sides of the banana leaf and wrap the fish like a parcel.  Secure with a toothpick.  Repeat for all the fish.  Now if you are using foil or parchment, do the same steps.  Place the fish parcels in a baking dish (in case it leaks) and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is cooked and flaky.

Take the other half of the sauce and heat it in a pan. I added some more basil leaves for extra flavor.  Cook until it makes a nice sauce to pour over you fish and rice. 

When the fish is done cooking open up the parcels and you can serve with the sides right inside the parcel. 


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