Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hot and Sour Fish, Steamed in Banana Leaves

I went to the shops the other day looking for a garden pot for my desk at work, but somehow didn’t manage to make it past the recipe books aisle.

While flicking through an assortment of beautiful books I saw a great photograph of a scrumptious looking fish. I had a quick look at the recipe and stored it to memory.

I then went on the hunt for some fresh banana leaves. It took 2 days and 7 shops but I finally found some beautiful leaves at Simply Fresh Fruit Market.

The recipe had 4 whole medium bream, but I already had a single, huge Drummer that I think Mark had caught.

To season the fish you need:
4 chillies
2 Kaffir lime leaves
2 spring onions
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/2 cup Thai basil leaves
2 sticks lemon grass

Lime and Chilli Dressing:
1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp grated ginger

Firstly, make slits across the thickest part of the fish, on both sides. Spoon about 1/3 to 1/2 of the dressing onto the fish. I then wrapped mine in gladwrap and put it in the fridge to marinate for about an hour.

While the fish is marinating, chop and combine the chillies, herbs and spring onions and finely slice the lime leaves. Chop the lemon grass in half, and then in half lengthwise and lightly bruise.

To prepare the banana leaves, trim them into large squares, large enough to wrap your fish.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, then using tongs, dip the leaves into the boiling water then immediately run then under cold water.

Lay out the prepared banana leaves and place a few stick of lemongrass and about 1/3 of the herb mix. Lay the fish on the herbs and cover with the rest of the herbs. If you have extra, place some inside the fish too.

Wrap the banana leaves around the fish and tie the with twine. Place the fish in a steamer (I used my wok as it has a wire rack insert for steaming) and cook for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of you fish.

When the fish is done, open the parcel and pour the rest of the dressing over the fish. Serve with steamed rice and Asian greens, a few fresh herbs and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Mmm... spice but tasty. I think I might buy the book.

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