Thai Sea Bass in Banana Leaves
Thai Sea Bass in Banana Leaves
This is a lovely Thai dish, not only in taste but in presentation. I made this with some good friends of mine in Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend on their Big Green Egg grill. If you haven’t seen one of these things – its totally cool and easy to use. And it’s BIG. And GREEN. And looks like and EGG. It’s actually a ceramic grill and smoker that reaches temperatures up to 700 degrees F and has the ability to grill, smoke or steam everything on the planet in about 15-20 minutes. Very cool. Anyways, we decided to make this Thai Sea Bass in Banana Leaves recipe from their Big Green Egg Cookbook and took a trip over to the Dekalb Farmer’s Market (which is also totally awesome if you haven’t been there – you must!). We picked up some fresh Sea Bass steaks (you can also use fillets), herbs, red curry paste, and banana leaves (which actually come frozen and need to be defrosted and cut down to size first before using).
Banana leaves are often used in Thai cooking to wrap around fish and add subtle flavor to whatever food they surround. This recipe was surprisingly easy to make and had wonderful tasty Asian flavors from the fresh herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, ginger and garlic and Thai chile) and lime. The red curry sauce is also easy to make by adding some paste to coconut milk and chicken stock and letting it simmer down while you grill/steam the fish in the banana leaves on the Big Green Egg. You just lay down a strip of the herb mixture, top it with some fish and lime slices, drizzle a little bit of oil, salt and pepper and then wrap the fish up in the leaves into cute little packets and throw them on the Big Green Egg (or any covered grill will do). After about 15-20 minutes you just unwrap the little packets, and top the fish with the curry sauce and serve with a side of lemony buttered green beans and fresh corn on the cob to go with it. Fresh, healthy and delicious.
1 (15 ounce) can coconut milk
1 teaspoon red curry paste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup firmly packed chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup firmly packed chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup firmly packed chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup crushed garlic
1 thinly sliced red jalapeno or serrano pepper
4 banana leaves (cut to 12 inches square)
4 (6 to 7 ounce) sea bass fillets or steaks
1 lime, cut into 8 thin slices
2 tablespoons canola oil or spray
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Big Green Egg
Preheat the EGG (or grill) to 350 degrees F.
Sea Bass and lime
Prep fish and lime and set aside to begin making coconut curry.
- Red Curry Coconut Sauce
To make the sauce, combine the coconut milk, curry paste and chicken stock in a small saucepan. Simmer on the stovetop over medium heat for 10 minutes, then keep warm.
- Chopped Herbs
Combine all the herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, ginger, garlic and chile) in a medium bowl and mix well.
- Banana Leaves
Lay the banana leaves out flat,
- Sea Bass & Herbs on Leaves
and place 3 to 4 tablespoons of the herb mixture on the center of each leaf and top each mound of herbs with fish.
- Fish, Herbs and Lime on Leaves
Top each packet with 2 lime slices and 1/2 teaspoon canola oil (or some oil spray).
- Folding Banana Leaf Packets
Season with salt and pepper and begin folding packets by folding the sides of the leaf inward, then fold the top and bottom over and tucking the ends under (kinda like making a banana leaf fish burrito!!).
- Folded Leaves ready for the grill
Secure each packet with butcher’s twine and brush or spray more oil on the outside of the leaves.
Grilled Banana Leaves
Place the leaves directly on the EGG porcelain-coated grid (or regular grill if using) and close the lid. Grill for 7 to 8 minutes per side, until the interior of the fish is opaque (unwrap a package and insert a knife into the fish to test). Transfer the fish to individual plates, remove the twine, open the top, and spoon the curry sauce over the fish. Serve while hot and with a side of buttery lemon green beans and fresh corn on the cob. For wine pairing, serve with a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
Get more great recipes for the Big Green Egg
Check out the Big Green Egg Cookbook