Baked Fish Wrapped In Banana Leaves

Baked Fish Wrapped In Banana Leaves
– Recipe By Chef Julz Henao

Fish, for generations, has been a staple protein in any Papua New Guinean kitchen. We cook it by frying it in oil, by boiling them in soups and stews and grilling them straight on the fire. For today’s special recipe, I have gone back to my roots to curate a fusion recipe drenched in PNG culture. In this recipe I will be cooking the fish by baking it in banana leaves and letting it infuse in the spices and marinade. This formed an aromatic dish with a delicious taste. Try out my recipe down below!

  • 1 filet fish (trevally)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 ginger
  • 8-10 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 3 – 4 tbsp honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Banana Leaves (cut to size)
  • 1 String of banana bark
  • Olive oil
  • 5 potatoes
  • 1 branch of Thyme
  • Lay the fish skin side down and slice down the middle to remove the bone.
  • Remove the skin and clean up any remaining blood on the filet.
  • Slice your filet down the middle to create two equal slices.
  • To make the garnish for baking, roughly chop the aupa, chop the onion into slivers, the ginger and garlic finely and quarter the cherry tomatoes.
  • To make your marinade add the tomato paste, coconut milk, as needed, honey, salt, pepper and mix well to combine.
  • Spoon the marinade onto the fish and spread liberally making sure that the whole filet is covered.
  • Char banana leaves over the stove until it is wilted enough to easily bend without cracking.
  • Place the marinated fish on the banana leaves and spoon on any remaining marinade.
  • Garnish, by layering the onions, the tomatoes, ginger, garlic and aupa. Drizzle with olive oil.
  • To wrap the banana leaves, bring up the corners together and secure together by tying with a string of banana bark.
  • Heat up a pan on the stove and place the wrapped filets over top. Once you start to hear the sizzle turn of the heat.
  • Turn on the oven and heat it up to 220 degrees, place the fish in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into discs, no more than one inch high. Ensure that the potatoes are mostly the same size to ensure that cook times stay consistent.
  • Add potatoes to a pan and sprinkle in a pinch of salt and pepper each. Crush one clove of garlic and a teaspoon of roughly chopped ginger and add it to the pot along with a sprig of thyme.
  • Drizzle olive oil and then pour in water enough to cover the potatoes. Place on the stove and boil for approximately 20 minutes, when completed a fork should be able to easily pierce the potatoes.
  • Once the fish is completed baking in the oven plate up the potatoes with a final drizzle of olive oil and serve hot with the fish.
  • Enjoy!

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