I rarely cook by any method other than BBQ in the ‘summer’ and so needed a way of protecting these bass on the grill. The huge bunches of banana leaves decorating many of the shops in Peckham Rye seemed just the ticket – a bit more exciting than foil anyway.
The salsa is finely chopped red onion, chilli, coriander and mint mixed with the grilled pineapple. Juicy, sweet, charred and fragrant.
BBQ Bass in Banana Leaves with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
2 sea bass or other white fish suitable for stuffing and steaming
2 banana leaves
Skewers or cocktail sticks to seal the leaves (soaked for 20 minutes in cold water)
4 slices lime + extra juice of 1 lime
4 slices ginger
4 slivers scotch bonnet or other chilli (use more or less depending on the heat of the chilli)
Salt and pepper
For the salsa
1 pineapple, cut into thick slices
Small handful coriander leaves picked and roughly chopped
Small handful mint leaves finely shredded
1 small red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
– Light the BBQ. When hot add the pineapple slices until charred in places on both sides.
– Open out a banana leaf and oil the part which will come into contact with the fish. Stuff the belly of the fish with 2 ginger slices, 2 lime slices and half the herbs and chilli. Squeeze a bit of lime juice in and season all over. Wrap the leaf up as best you can to contain the fish and secure with skewers or sticks. Repeat with the second fish and put on the BBQ, lid on. The cooking time will depend on the size of your fish. I cooked mine for about 20 minutes.
– While the fish is cooking, dice the pineapple and mix with the other ingredients.
– Serve fish with salsa and enjoy!