Fish Steamed in Banana Leaf


The little Thai CookbookThe delicious aromatic curried fish custard filling for this dish is the same one as. In this recipe the fish custard is steamed in individual banana leaf cups and this results in a delightful exotic presentation.

  • Yield: 6


  • banana leaves
  • 2 handfuls of Thai sweet basil leaves
  • fish filling
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 4 makrut (kaffir) lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded and thinly sliced, for garnish
How to Make It
  1. To soften the banana leaves and prevent them from splitting, put them in a hot oven for about 10–20 seconds, or blanch them briefly in boiling water. Cut the leaves into 12 circles 15 cm (6 in) in diameter with the fibre running lengthways.
  2. Place one circle with the fibre running lengthways and another on top with the fibre running across. Make a 1 cm (½ in) deep tuck 4 cm (1½ in) long (4 cm in from the edge and no further) and pin securely with a small sharp toothpick. Repeat at the opposite point and at the two side points, making four tucks altogether. Flatten the base as best you can. Repeat to make six cups. Place a few basil leaves in the bottom of each cup and spoon in the fish filling until three-quarters full.
  3. Fill a wok or a steamer pan with water, cover and bring to the boil over high heat. Place the banana cups on a plate. Use a plate that will fit on the rack of a traditional bamboo steamer basket or on a steamer rack inside the wok or pan. (If your wok or pan has a special steaming plate that will hold the cups flat, you may not need to put them on a separate plate.) Taking care not to burn your hands, set the rack or basket over the water and put the plate on the rack. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for 15–20 minutes. Check and replenish the water after 10 minutes.
  4. When the cups are cooked the filling will puff and rise slightly. Turn off the heat and carefully transfer the cups to a serving plate. Spoon a little coconut cream on top and sprinkle with lime leaves and sliced chilli.

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