Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaves Recipe is a great guide to using the banana leaf in your day to day cooking. This recipe has an Island vibe thanks to its citrusy flavor and Caribbean presentation. Fish and veggies are seasoned with spices and bright herbs then wrapped in a banana leaf. They are roasted until the banana leaf starts to get color. While it cooks, the fish becomes delicate and absorbs the flavors of everything surrounding it.
We love to use a banana leaf for a few reasons. The first, it automatically elevates the dish in flavor and presentation. We also love to use it because while unique, it is actually extremely easy to do. You can even assemble to the fish packages ahead of time. Leave them in the fridge and place them on a sheet pan while the oven is preheating.
Where to find Banana Leaves and why we love Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaves
Wrapping the fish in banana leaves traps the moisture and allows the fish to steam cook more delicately than it would if we were roasting it. Don’t worry! The banana leaves won’t make the fish taste like bananas. They lend an herbal almost grassy flavor.
Finding a Banana Leaf is not as hard as you may think it is. They are right there in the market, in the frozen food sections. Find frozen banana leaves in most markets, and especially specialty Hispanic or Asian markets. You can use parchment paper as a substitute.
What type of fish to use?
A fatty fish such as grouper, sea bass, trout or even salmon will do best in this type of recipe. Look at it like this, the fattier the fish, the more moist it will stay. The fat of the fish is forgiving. A fish like Mahi Mahi will hold its shape because it is firm, but it has very little fat, it can dry out if overcooked.
Our Tips for Making Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaf
- Substituting Ingredients: We decided to use poblano peppers and green onions in this recipe to punch up the flavor. However you can feel free to swap them out for what you like such as; other bell peppers, zucchini, olives, spinach, red onion. The options are limitless.
- Cut Everything Uniform. Be sure you cut everything thin and small since it’s a quick cook.
- Once the fish comes out of the oven, give it a couple minutes before opening so all the juices settle.
- Serve on the plate folded side up.
- Garnish with lime and fresh herbs and drizzle over some of our Macho Sauce for a spicy kick or Avocado Crema for a smooth bite.
Fish wrapped in banana leaves
2 pounds of grouper, cut into 4 equal filets (or any fatty and thick fish)
4 sheets of banana leaves that are atleast 15*15 inches
8 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 tablespoon of capers
1 tablespoon of creole seasoning or any fish seasoning you like
½ tablespoon of sazon
2 oranges, sliced (discard the sides)
2 poblano peppers, thinly sliced
6 green onion, thinly sliced
Garnish: 2 limes, cilantro leaves, parsley leaves, chives
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Prep the sauce to lay over. In a bowl add the poblano and green onions. Add 4 tablespoons of the oil and salt and pepper. Toss together and set aside.
- Prep the Banana Leaves. Lay out the banana leaves over a large cutting board or sheet pan.
- Fill the Banana Leaves. Place two to three orange slices in the middle of the banana leaves and a fillet of fish on top of the oranges.
- Season and Dress the Fish. Drizzle each piece of fish with 1 tablespoon of oil on both sides. Evenly season the fish with the sazon, creole spice, salt and pepper. Making sure to season both sides. Evenly distribute the green onion and poblano mixture to the top of the fish. Then top each one with capers.
- Close the Banana Leaves. Fold over the banana leaves on the sides, then fold over the leaves on the top and bottom making a little packet. You can hold it together with kitchen twine or a thin piece of banana leaf. Even simpler is to place the packet with the folded side down. The weight of the fish will hold everything together.
- Bake It. Place the 4 packets on top of a sheet pan an bake in the oven for 25 minutes. (If your fish is very thick, such as a very thick seabass, go ahead and bake it for an additional 5 minutes.)
- Serve It. Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Serve each packet onto a plate folded side up. Top with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lime.