Asian-style baked fish

Baked in banana leaves, these whole fish, infused with ginger, chilli and lime, are as visually spectacular as they are delicious. Despite their appearance, they are actually very quick and easy to prepare and are sure to become a regular favourite.

Asian-style baked fish


  • 4 × 400 g (14 oz) whole firm white fish, such as mackerel, tailor, snapper or bream, cleaned, skin on
  • 4 banana leaves, trimmed (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 limes, sliced
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 long red chillies, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 4 kaffir lime (makrut) leaves, very thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) salt–reduced soy sauce
  • steamed rice, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7).
  2. Cut three slashes in the thickest part of each side of the fish.
  3. Cut the banana leaves so they are big enough to wrap each fish separately.
  4. Carefully submerge the leaves into boiling water for 30 seconds or just long enough to soften.
  5. Rinse under cold water to cool.
  6. Place each fish on a blanched banana leaf.
  7. Rub 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil onto each fish, including the inside of the stomach cavity.
  8. Scatter over one–quarter of the sliced limes, the white part of the spring onions, the ginger, chilli and kaffir lime leaves under and over each fish and inside the stomach cavity.
  9. Drizzle with soy sauce and wrap each fish securely in a banana leaf.
  10. Alternatively, you can wrap the fish in baking (parchment) paper, then a square of foil, shiny side on the inside.
  11. Bake the fish for 15–20 minutes, or until cooked through – when done the flesh will flake away easily when tested with a fork.
  12. Serve the fish on the banana leaves (but leaves are not eaten) or serve on plates with any juices drizzled over the top.
  13. Garnish with the remaining spring onions and serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15-20 minutes


Low Fat No Fat Asian Cooking

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