Grilled Fish with Cilantro Chutney in Banana Leaf
Kotwal Singh, Regional Executive Chef, Hard Rock Cafe Micronesia
1 piece (1 by 1 1/2 inch) fresh ginger, peeled
5 garlic cloves
1 fresh hot green chili such as jalapeno or serrano, trimmed
1/2 cup chopped fresh coconut flakes
3 cups fresh cilantro, cleaned
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
2 pieces banana leaves
6 pieces (6 oz each) 1-inch thick white fish fillet such as Wahoo, Onaga, Parrot Fish or Halibut (thawed if frozen)
Make chutney: Finely chop ginger, garlic, chili and coconut in a food processor. Add cilantro and mint. and process until chopped. Add vinegar, sugar, salt and blend chutney well. Make a smooth paste.
Prepare fish: Cut banana leaves into 6 sheets (12 by 10 inches each). Arrange in a stack with the shorter side nearest you. Season Fish fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Spread 1 slightly rounded tablespoon cilantro chutney on top of a fillet, then invert onto center of a banana leaf, arranging fillet crosswise. Spread another slightly rounded tablespoon of chutney on top of fish. Fold bottom edge of leaf over fish and fold in sides over fish, then fold package away from you, enclosing fish. Tie package (in both directions) with a 24-inch piece of kitchen string. Repeat with remaining fish fillets, chutney and banana leaves.
Grill packages, turning over once, until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes (untie 1 package to check doneness). Cut string before serving and transfer packages to 6 plates. The banana leaves are inedible, but they make a nice presentation and add flavor.
Chef's cooking trivia: The greatest dishes are very simple dishes.
Yield: 6 Servings
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