Su-Mei's Grilled Seafood Wrapped in Banana Leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 5 to 6 fresh bird chiles, or 5 serrano chiles, slivered
- 12 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 5 shallots, thinly sliced
- 4 krachai, or 12 slivers fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 10 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half, or slivered zest of 2 limes
- 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and thoroughly dried
- 1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded, and thoroughly dried
- 1 pound Manila clams, scrubbed and thoroughly dried
- 1 1 1/2-pound lobster, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups Thai basil leaves, roughly torn
- 2 cups Arugula leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 2 16-by-18-inch pieces banana leaves
- Cooked jasmine rice, for serving (optional)
Combine the salt, pepper, chiles, garlic, shallots, krachai, and kaffir lime leaves in a bowl, and mix well. Add the seafood, basil leaves, arugula, and lemon slices. Toss to mix well.
Heat a grill. Line a 16-by-18-inch double layer of aluminum foil with a banana leaf. Place the seafood mixture in center of leaf. Cover it with second banana leaf and another 16-by-18-inch double layer of aluminum foil. Roll edges of aluminum foil over tightly to form a pouch.
Place the pouch on the grill over medium-high heat. Cover, and grill-smoke for 20 minutes. Be sure to open air vents in top of grill cover. Carefully open pouch slightly to make sure the mussel shells are open and the lobster shell has turned pink. Remove pouch from the grill, and transfer seafood, along with the juices, to a platter. Serve with rice.