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Banana-Leaf-Wrapped Snapper

This delicious snapper recipe is courtesy of chef Michelle Bernstein.

  • Servings: 4

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, July Summer 2008


  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
  • 2 tablespoons nuoc nam (fish sauce)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Thai chile, or half a jalapeno chile
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 banana leaves
  • 4 snapper fillets (7 ounces each)
  • 1 lime, quartered


  1. Preheat a grill pan over medium heat.

  2. Place oil, tamarind pulp, nuoc nam, garlic, shallots, chile, turmeric, shrimp paste, lemongrass, sugar, ginger, and salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until a smooth paste is formed.

  3. Place banana leaves on the grill for about 2 seconds to make them more pliable. Using tongs, transfer them to a work surface. Trim tops and bottoms of each leave and place a fish fillet in the center of each leaf. Evenly divide the oil mixture between each fillet and spread over fish in an even layer.

  4. Working with one fish at a time, fold one side of the leaf over the fish, then the other, then fold in ends. Repeat process until all fillets are wrapped. Wrap banana-leaf-wrapped fish in aluminum foil.

  5. Place foil-wrapped fish on grill and grill, turning once, until a metal skewer or sharp, thin-bladed knife inserted into the center of the fish comes out hot, 5 to 6 minutes per side.

  6. Carefully unwrap fish from foil and place each banana-leaf-wrapped fillet on a plate; serve immediately with lime wedges.

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