Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Southeast Asian Dish - Grilled Fish, Curry Rice and Green Beans

Banana Leaf Wrapped Broiled Lemongrass Fish or Chicken

ya..ya.. I know, it's a mouthful (pun intended), but here it is: my latest spontaneous creation in the kitchen from a few months ago and I happened to have the picture on file. This recipe is adapted from the April 22, 2001 edition of the Globe and Mail Canada which was originally intended for chicken - Myanmar style and there was no banana leaf involved. So I did a few tweaking of my own by switching the chicken to cod; adding a few more ingredients that suited my taste bud and finally wrapping the fish with banana leaf to broil....ha...and the result was not bad at all! The dish was served together with Curried Coconut Jasmine Rice and Curried Green Beans in order to create the full Myanmar cuisine experience.

  • 4 pieces of cod fillet (or skinless chicken breasts)
  • 3 stalks lemongrass - discard all but the bottom 3 inches
  • 2 tsp fine chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • lime juice and peel
  • banana leaf
  • Smash the tender white part of the lemongrass (after removing the tough outer leaves at the base) and then finely chopped.
  • Make a paste out of garlic, ginger and lemongrass using either mortar and pestle, rolling pin or food processor.
  • Add chopped green onions, including the green tops, to the paste.
  • You can also add a little lime juice and lime peel for added flavor if you wish.
  • Add the fish sauce, sugar, and salt & pepper.
  • Marinade the fish or chicken with all of the above processed ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Rinse and air dry 4 banana leaves and set aside.
  • After 30 minutes, take the marinated fish out of the refrigerator and then wrap each piece with banana leaf. Place each piece in the oven and let broil for 15 - 20 minutes. The banana leaf will add some nice fragrance to the fish while keeping it moist.
  • With Chicken - Heat a skillet on high and add oil. Add jalapeno pepper once the oil becomes hot and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 3-5 min on each side or until each side turns golden brown.
  • Place the chicken in oven-proof baking dish and roast/broil for 10-15 minutes or until cooked and crisp.
p.s.: I've also tried the chicken version and it was just as good if not crispier.

Curried Green Beans

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp curry paste
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 12 ounces of green beans
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander or basil
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 dozen prawns (optional but recommended)
  • Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet on medium heat.
  • Optional: Stir fry prawns until cooked and set aside.
  • Add more oil to the same skillet without rinsing it and reheat on medium heat.
  • Add curry paste and ginger and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  • Pour in coconut milk and fish sauce and a few tablespoons of chicken stock.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add green beans and simmer together for 10 minutes or until green beans are cooked but crunchy.
  • Add the necessary amount of chicken stock to keep the sauce liquid.
  • Stir in lemon juice.
  • Add the cooked prawns and stir for another minute.
  • Garnish with coriander or a lime wedge.
Curried Coconut Jasmine Rice

  • 2 cups of jasmine rice
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp curry madras or garam masala
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp of chopped garlic
  • salt, freshly ground black and a dash of white pepper
  • Combine rice, water/chicken stock and curry madras in a pot.
  • Bring to a boil and stir in coconut milk and cover.
  • Reduce heat to low and steam for 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.
As a start, saute some chopped garlic until fragrant and then add rice, garam masala, salt and white pepper and stir for a few seconds before adding the chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add coconut juice, cover pot, and then reduce heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, adding more stock if need be. Once rice is cooked, squeeze some lemon juice. It was a hit!

No comments: