Monday, November 16, 2009

Fish Steamed in Banana Leaves

Had a nice food find this week. Fresh banana leaves!

These are great for wrapping food and then steaming or grilling. Steamed, the banana leaves impart a sort of fruity, almost floral taste to the food. Grilled, they add a similar but more bitter aroma.

I also picked up some yellow eye rockfish that looked fresh and delicious. However, I just read that it is probably going to be declared a protected species in our area. Gah! Now I feel really bad for eating the poor thing. Of course, this recipe works equally as well with just about any other sustainable white fish. In fact, I'm going to leave that rockfish alone entirely, now that I know that it is up for a possible status change in my area.

The black rockfish would be a better option for those of us wanting to make eco-friendly choices and if you're ever worried about the impact of what you're putting on the table, here is a link to help choose environmentally friendly seafood (link)

Not so Humble's Fish Steamed in Banana Leaves:

1 large banana leaf
boiling water

2 lbs firm white fish fillets
1 tablespoon garlic finely minced
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 heaping tablespoon rice flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of half a lime

Boil several cups of water and cut the banana leaves into 4-6 13"x9" sheets. Place the leaves into a roasting pan and pour the boiling water over top and let soak while preparing the other ingredients.

Trim and skin your fillets and cut into large chunks and set aside. Assemble the remaining ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Coat the fish pieces in the mixture and allow them to marinate for about 10 minutes. Once ready, remove a banana leaf from the dish of water, it should be pliable enough to work with now.

Place 3-4 pieces of fish in the center of the leaf and fold the sides to the center, then bring the top and the bottom up to close the little package and secure with a toothpick or skewer. Arrange these in your steamer's baskets and steam for 15-25 minutes.

Hopefully your steamer is bigger than this one! But hey, it is my most photogenic steamer... so in they go!

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