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Grilled Fish in Banana Leaves

Gourmet's Adventures with Ruth: Season One: Yara Roberts' Brazil

  • Active time:45 min
  • Start to finish:1 1/4 hr
Yara Roberts, Yara Roberts' Cooking School, Paraty, Brazil
November 2009
Watch a preview of this Gourmet's Adventures with Ruth episode and it view its accompanying recipes. Plus, explore all episodes and more recipes from the show.
  • 1 (1 lb) package frozen banana leaves, thawed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt (4 tsp coarse kosher salt)
  • 6 scallions
  • 12 large sprigs cilantro
  • 12 large sprigs parsley
  • 6 small whole (3/4 to 1 lb) red snapper or other white-fleshed fish, or 6 (6 oz) fillets
  • Garnish

    olive oil
  • Equipment

    Cotton string or twine
  • Holding both ends of a banana leaf with your hands, pass slowly over an open flame on each side until you see it change color. Repeat with remaining leaves.
  • Stir together lime juice and salt in a small bowl.
  • Trim scallions and cut white and green part into 3-inch lengths. Thinly slice scallions lengthwise into 3-inch strips.
  • Preheat oven to 450F
  • Prepare and bake whole fish

  • Cut a piece of banana leaf at least 2 times as long as the fish, about 30-inches long. Lay a fish lengthwise in center of leaf and rub cavity and both side of fish with about 2 teaspoons lime juice-salt mixture. Fill cavity with 1/6th of scallion strips and 2 large sprigs each of cilantro and parsley. Wrap banana leaf around fish and tie in two places to secure. Put fish on one of two large 4-sided baking sheets. Repeat with remaining fish.
  • Bake fish on baking sheets in upper and lower thirds of oven until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Open packages, then drizzle fish with olive oil and serve.

  • Chop the scallion strips, cilantro and parsley together. Cut a wide piece of banana leaf to about 12-inches. Put a fillet in center of leaf and rub both sides with 2 teaspoons lime juice-salt mixture. Put a tablespoon or so of herbs under fish and sprinkle top with another tablespoonful (use about 1/6 of total herb mixture). Fold banana leaf over fillet to enclose and secure with a string wrapped both ways around package like a present. Put package on a large four-sided baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining fillets.
  • Bake fillets on baking sheet in middle of oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Open packages, then drizzle fish with olive oil and serve.