World Cuisine

Whole Pomfret in Banana Leaf

prep 20 mins cook 15–20 mins
  • 1 large pomfret, gutted and cleaned
  • 1 banana leaf, large enough to wrap the fish in
  • 5 cm (2 inch) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz) coconut cream
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 6 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 6 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 4 lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
  • salt and pepper

Use a small sharp knife to score the fish flesh diagonally on both sides. Dip the banana leaf into boiling water for 15–20 seconds to make it supple and pliable for wrapping the fish. Remove and rinse under cold water. Dry with kitchen paper.

Mix together the ginger, coconut cream, chopped herbs, lime juice, spring onions, lime leaves and chilli in a bowl. Season the mixture to taste.

Lay the banana leaf on a work surface and place the pomfret in the centre. Spread the herb mixture over the pomfret and wrap in the leaf to form a neat parcel. Secure with bamboo skewers or cocktail sticks.

Place the parcel in a large bamboo steamer and steam, covered, over a wok of simmering water for 15–20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Serve the fish immediately with steamed rice and steamed Asian greens.

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