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Grilled, Mains, Quick and Easy

Grilled halibut with cilantro-lime sauce in banana leaves

Grilled halibut with cilantro-lime sauce in banana leaves
Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

In the beautiful economy of the forest -- or the urban backyard garden -- leaves are nature's brilliant cookware. Banana leaves can be cut down to make plates or unfurled into wrappers perfect for steaming fish on a low-slung grill. ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes | Serves 4
  • 8 small banana leaves, or 8 (10-by-12-inch) sections of larger leaves, thick ribs removed
  • 2 jalapenos, stemmed (seeded, if desired, for less heat)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups parsley leaves
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup best-quality olive oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) fillets of Pacific halibut, skin off

Step 1Blanch the banana leaves, a few at a time, in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly softened. Remove to a bowl of cold water, then drain, pat dry and set aside.

Step 2In the bowl of a food processor, combine the chiles, garlic, parsley, cilantro, lime juice and zest, and salt. Process until blended. Add the olive oil in a slow stream and process until combined; you'll have about 1 cup of sauce.

Step 3Place a leaf or leaf section on the work surface, rib side up. Center one halibut fillet on the leaf.

Step 4Add 1 tablespoon of sauce to the top of the fish and turn to coat the fillet. Wrap the leaf around the fish, turn the packet over, and use a second leaf to wrap the fish again. Repeat with the remaining fillets.

Step 5Grill the packets over medium heat, turning once, until the leaves are crisp and brown but not burned through, about 20 minutes. If you're in doubt, open one packet to test that the fish is flaky and cooked through. Serve immediately, with rice and the remaining sauce passed at the table.

Note: Serve with rice.


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