Grilled Flathead on Banana Leaves

by Linda on May 7, 2010

The idea for this recipe came partly from Steamy Kitchen, and partly from remembering as a kid cooking our catch of butter bream on pandanus leaves over a fire on the beach with no kitchen utensils at all and believing it was the best food ever (a memory I really want my grandkids to be able to have too),

My partner came back from a day at the coast fishing (his favourite form of meditation) with seven flathead.  They’re not the prettiest fish, but they are one of the best tasting, and listed as a sustainable catch.

We needed to invite people for dinner to help eat them, but on a midweek work night it had to be a recipe that was super fast and easy.

He lit the barbecue and cut some banana leaves.  I picked some lemon basil, dill and culantro from the garden and blended the herbs with a bit of lime juice, garlic and olive oil to make a thick marinade.  We laid the fish on the banana leaves on the hot barbecue plate, spooned the marinade over the top, and put some whole cobs of corn and whole zucchini on the side.  Guests arrived, opened the bottle of wine, turned the fish over, and total of twenty minutes later dinner was served.

These fish took only a few minutes each side.  The banana leaves blacken and curl and impart a nice smoky flavour but hold in the marinade long enough to  add its flavours too.  Very delectable.  And made cleaning the barbecue plate afterwards a cinch too.

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