Fish Steamed in Banana Leaves

Again from Tamarino in Luang Prabang. One of my favorite meals in SE Asia.


  • 3 TBSP sticky rice powder, uncooked
  • 5 Asian shallots
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 chili
  • 2 inches of lemongrass, finely shredded
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 TBSP chopped dill
  • 2 TBSP chopped Lao/Thai basil
  • 2 small spring onions, chopped
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce
  • 300 grams of fish fillets, roughly cubed
  • 4 banana leaves


1) Pound the sticky rice powder, shallots, garlic, chili, lemongrass and salt in a mortar.

2) Add the lime leaves, dill, basil, and spring onions and pound some more.

3) Add the water and fish sauce and stir.

4) Add the fish pieces and mix with your hands.

5) Run each banana leaf over a flame to soften them (do not burn).

6) Take two banana leaves and place one across the other, with the ends opposite one another (one top one bottom).

7) Place half the fish mixture (without liquid) at the center of the leaf.

8) Fold each side up (the top and bottom).

9) Take one side that is open up, to make an almost pyramid.

10) Tilt the packet  and pour some of the liquid in.

11) Seal the open end the same way you did the closed end.

12) Tie with lemongrass or toothpicks.

13) Steam for 15 minutes over a high heat, until the leaves get lighter.

14) Serve with rice.

SE Asia 3016


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