Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Baked Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaves

Last weekend I went to the Asian store and bought some fish. I bought trout heads, croaker and unknown fish. I cook soup with some of the fish heads. It was just a simple salt, ground black pepper and herbs in the fish soup. The fish was very sweet. I finish them in a jiffy.

For the croaker, I deep fry them. Now, I am left with the unknown fish. I decided to cook this fish wrapped in banana leaves. I was not sure if honey will like baked fish. He usually prefers fried fish. The weather is very humid today despite some showers earlier of the day. The idea of frying the fish and heat up my kitchen is not to my liking.
The first step in preparing for this meal is to cut some herbs that I grow around the house. Above, in the bowl of water, was chives, thyme, thai basil, sweet basil and sage. The aroma from these herbs was wonderful.
2 fishes
1 big red onion
2 chinese eggplants (long and skinny shape)
2 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon salt
4 pandan leaves
fresh herbs (thyme, sage, thai basil, sweet basil, chives)
Some olive oil

Wash and clean the banana leaves. I am using about 6 banana leaves. Three pieces is used for each fish.
Rub turmeric powder and salt on both fishes.
Lay cut side down of the eggplant on the banana leaves.
Then layer it with the onion and pandan leaves.
Add all of the herbs and lay down the fish on top. Drizzle the fish with some olive oil.

Wrap nicely and put it on the tray or cooking dish.
Bake this fish on 350 degree F for about 1 hour.

Serve this fish with tartar sauce.
How to make the tartar sauce. My simple recipe is as follows:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard (I prefer honey dijon)
1 tablespoon sweet relish
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped chives

Mix everything in a bowl. Seasoned to taste.
As for dessert, I served few slices of watermelon.
Honey enjoyed the fish very much. I am very happy to see all my effort are paid off.
The tartar sauce was tasty despite lacking anchovies and vinegar.
I must say that the fish doesn't have that yucky fishy smell at all.
The eggplants was tender and very sweet.
I am not sure where the sweetness in the eggplant came from. I suspect it could be from the juice of the fish and onion. I did not serve the eggplant to my husband. He will not eat the vegetable.


  1. Baked Fish .. wrapped in Banana leaves.. Mmm mmm sure smell good and taste good

  2. Hani, long time I did not hear from you. How's the school break? Kids keep you busy at home?

  3. I'm always lookin for uses for banana leaves. For some reason I have frozen packages but don't know what to do with them.

  4. k.zu,
    rasa macam dah post komen semalam, tp lupa pulak sbb letih sangat. Seronok tengok kak zu gigih bakar ikan dengan segala herbs.. siap bungkus dlm daun pisang lagi. Saya kat sini klu nak membakar sure bungkus dgn foil je.. malas nak beli daun pisang sbb asyik membazir je...& membazir sbb malas masak sebenarnya;)..

  5. Jude, I am using the frozen banana leaves. Just washed them with cold water and wipe it with clean towel or paper towel.

    rapheydhillo, banana leaves is cheap here and I could get it at regular store. The taste of the baked fish was really good. Next time I must use spicy sambal or tarmarind juice for dipping. Yummy!

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  7. Rajinnya buat ikan bakar.. Tapi bila dah wrap dengan banana leaves, itu yang buat sedap tu...

  8. Hi Zue, my kids are all grown up.. My 3 girls are busy at work :) but I miss their childhood time..

    By the way, please collect yr award at websit...tks

  9. The aroma and taste must be wonderful! I love cooking with banana leaves.

  10. Marshall, thank you for letting me know about your site.

    MamaFaMi, mula ingat nak buat otak otak tapi bahannya tak cukup. Insyaallah, lain kali boleh cuba buat otak otak la pulak.

    Hani, dah senang la you rupanya. Ingatkan you masih ada anak di sekolah.

    pigpigscorner, I really wanna try to cook our asian food using old method like banana leaves, bamboo leaves, palm leaves, etc. I think this method retain the flavor of the food.