Baked Fish in Banana Leaves with Mango Salad

, from Issue #32. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Baked Fish in Banana Leaves with Mango Salad

Give your baked fish a makeover with this tropical recipe. Fish fillets are baked in banana leaves and served with a vibrant mango salad.


Serves: 6


6 x 200 gram fillets firm white fish (I used monkfish)
6 pieces of banana leaf about 20 cm x 25 cm
vegetable oil

Spice paste
½ small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
pinch of chilli powder
1 tablespoon fish sauce
¼ cup packed Thai basil leaves (or regular basil or mint)
½ cup thick coconut cream

Mango salad
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons brown sugar
pinch of chilli powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
juice of 1 lime
1 mango, peeled and diced


Spice paste: Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Place the fish in a shallow dish, add the spice paste and turn to coat. The fish can be marinated for several hours ahead, covered and refrigerated.

Mango salad: Heat the oil in a small saucepan with the mustard seeds, onion and ginger. Cover and cook until the onion is tender. Add the brown sugar, chilli and salt and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Fold in the mango and set aside.

To assemble: Rub both sides of the banana leaves with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. Place a piece of fish along the short side of the leaf and roll up. Fold in the sides and secure with a toothpick.

To cook: Place on a preheated grill plate and cook for 5 minutes each side until the fish feels firm and a skewer inserted through the banana leaf easily pierces the fish with no resistance.

To serve: Transfer the parcels to a platter. Open the banana leaves and top the fish with a spoonful of the salad. 

Bags of frozen banana leaves are available from Asian food stores.