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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  1. I love the banana leaf!! What a cool presentation of a delicious dish~

  2. One of the most memorable dishes in my life was curry served on a banana leaf in Singapore on honeymoon. Just back from holiday in Thailand, I can appreciate this dish even more. Love it! Now if only I could get my hands on these leaves from our local - it's worth the treck to the other end of Paris for your recipe!

  3. Never tried this kind of dish before, looks wonderful and very flavorful!

  4. aromatic fish gives a good taste in banana leaves looks wonderful

  5. This looks so tasty, Ramona! My husband wouldn't approve bc of the coconut, but the next time he goes out of town and it's just me, I so want to make this!

  6. Ramona this looks delicious! As you know, I can't have fish, but I wonder how this would taste with chicken? Hmmm....

  7. I think the banana leaf is a must. Your dish turned out so well.

  8. cool is this! Do the banana leaves lend any flavor to the fish or are they just the vehicle for cooking? This looks fabulous! I wish I were in your sunflowery kitchen enjoying this with you! : )

  9. I've seen banana leaves in the market, and I've been wondering what I could do with them. Thanks for the recipe! Also, I recently purchased coconut milk powder; I am new to these kinds of ingredients, could that be used, mixed with water to subsitute coconut milk?

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