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Banana-leaf steamed fish with braised cabbage

Banana-leaf steamed fish with braised cabbage

Paleo Gluten Free Dairy Free Soy Free Low Calorie

Banana leaves make a fragrant and convenient packet for fish-steaming. Chef Justine uses them here to seal in moisture and infuse the filets with a subtle, grassy aroma. While the fish cooks you have time to braise the cabbage and make the cilantro sauce to serve alongside.


  • 2 fish filets
  • 4 banana leaves
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1-inch piece ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 chiles de arbol
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 pound cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • Large bunch cilantro
  • 1 lime



Cook the fish

Heat the oven to 400°F. Season the fish with salt and pepper. On a work surface, stack two banana leaves, overlapping slightly, and put a fish filet in the center. Repeat with the remaining banana leaves and fish. Tear the kaffir lime leaves into pieces and divide evenly between each filet. Fold the sides of the leaves around the fish fillets, then fold the top and bottom creating a package. Place each package, fold-side down on a baking sheet. Add ¼ cup water to the baking sheet and cook in the hot oven until the fish is opaque, about 20 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before unwrapping.
While the fish cooks, braise the cabbage.


Braise the cabbage

  • Peel and thinly slice the ginger.
  • Chop the garlic.
  • Wash and coarsely chop the cabbage.
In a 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the ginger, half the garlic, the chiles, and the sesame seeds and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cabbage along with ¼ cup water and the mirin. Season with salt and cook, tossing occasionally, until the cabbage has wilted, about 10 minutes.
While the cabbage cooks, make the sauce.


Make the cilantro sauce

  • Chop the cilantro, including the stems.
  • Zest and juice the lime. /li>
In a small bowl, combine the cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, the remaining garlic and 2 tablespoons oil.



Transfer the fish to serving plates along with the braised cabbage. Serve the cilantro sauce with the fish.
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