Halibut Grilled in Banana Leaves with Lemongrass and Thai Basil



This is our second recipe from Steven Raichlen's Planet Barbeque. The original recipe calls for halibut but I had good mahi in the freezer so I used that.

We loved this! With the sauce the flavors popped into a party in your mouth. Hot salty sour and sweet! I thought it required less cooking on our charcoal grill but on a gas grill 5-7 minutes is about right.

I served it with brown rice and baby bok choy stir fried in sesame oil with garlic and soy sauce.

Herb Paste

2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and cut crosswise in 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup lightly packed  Thai basil leaves
2 cloves garlic peeled and halved
1 tbs chopped corriander root or 2 tbs coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
1-2 Thai chiles or serrano peppers, chopped
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
2 tbs Asian(dark) sesame oil

Place the lemongrass through the salt in a mortar and pestle and pound into a paste. Work in the sesame oil. If you don't have a mortar and pestle use your food processor.

For the Fish

4 banana leaves cut in 8x8 squares(you can also use foil but it's not as fun)
2 firm white fish fillets

Honey Lime Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce or soy sauce (I used fish sauce)
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 Thai chili chopped

Mix everything

1. Prepare the herb paste and spread a spoonful on the banana leaf(to soften the leaf heat it over a burner for 15-30 minutes). Place fish on paste and spread another spoonful on top of fish. Fold banana leaf like you fold a burrito and secure with butcher string or a toothpick. Marinate 20 minutes to 2 hours.

2. Prepare a grill for direct heat on high

3. Grill fish packets 5-7 minutes on each side. To check for done-ness insert a metal skewer through the packet and let sit for 15 seconds

4. Serve the fish with the dipping sauce. Cut the string, open and enjoy.


Rebecca said...

This looks fantastic!
1)Where did you get banana leaves?
2)I don't understand the "test for done-ness" part.


KristiB said...

I got the banana leaves at Lee Lees. I bought frozen but sometimes they have them fresh. They're in one of the coolers back by the meat dept. Test for done-ness-to see if the fish is cooked through I ran a kebab skewer through the packet then touched the part that was in the packet to see if it was hot. My fish was a bit overcooked but Jim had the bigger piece and it was perfect.