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Snap out of it! Healthy eating doesn’t mean boring eating!
Steaming fish is a healthy way to cook without adding extra
fat or calories. But, here’s the problem: fish fillets often fall apart in a
steamer. So, here’s the solution: wrap the fish fillets in banana leaves! It
will not only help the fillets keep their shape, but also add an enticing
If you’ve never used banana leaves, this is a great starter
recipe. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to wrap the fish in little banana
leaf packets. Get creative! Substitute chopped chicken or pork for the fish and
add whatever veggies you have on hand.
You can find banana leaves in ethnic markets or large supermarkets.
You’ll probably have an extra leaf or two… let the kids take them to school for
show and tell!
Photograph by Christina Chavez
RECIPE: Ginger Garlic Fish in Banana
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
● 2 tablespoons
cloves garlic, minced
tablespoons soy sauce
● 1 teaspoon
rice or white wine vinegar
cup scallions, divided
fish fillets, 4-ounces each (cod, halibut, red snapper or grouper work best)
cup thinly sliced red and green peppers
ounces banana leaves, cut into four 10-inch squares and softened
cup cilantro for garnish (optional)
Fill a large pot
with enough water to come ½-inch
up the side. Place a steamer inside.
Whisk the ginger,
garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and ¼ cup scallions together in small bowl; set
aside. You can also mix these ingredients in a blender.
Place one fillet,
topside down, in the center of one banana leaf. Top with ¼ cup red and green
peppers. Spoon on 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic sauce. Fold over sides and ends
of leaf to enclose fillet. Place folded side down on the steamer in the pot.
Repeat to make four packets.
Cover pot and bring
water to a bowl. Steam 8 to 10-minutes (figure 10-minutes per inch of
Remove packets from
steamer with a spatula. Place on a plate; carefully cut open and garnish with
remaining scallions and cilantro.
Two Ways to Soften Banana Leaves:
● Hold banana leaf with tongs and quickly
pass over a gas burner on medium heat until pliable. Do this quickly so they
don’t get brittle.
● Place banana leaves in a large saucepan of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes or
until soft and shiny.