Here is a dish that would make prepping for fish exceptionally easy and fish eating, tantalizingly tasty
Fish in banana leaf or often referred to as Liboke de Poisson (Congolese dialect) which means pouches of food cooked in banana leaves – in this case fish. Just like the French term en papillote, which means baked in?
This way of making fish is not only healthy but super easy to make – the leaves or package holds the steams and it penetrates the fish beautifully creating a moist fish with Amazing flavors.
People often ask; do plantain/banana leaves alter food taste?
They certainly do – Banana/Plantain leaves leave a very distinct flavor and are fundamental in lots of dishes – throughout Africa, Central America, Caribbean, Mexico and some parts of Asia.
What do they taste like? Well, I would say they do have an earthy flavor and sometimes can leave a hint of bitterness- if you cooking them too long, that is especially true with the ones I have purchased at the international markets or Hispanic stores abroad.
The spice blend can range from a variety of spices to traditional and exotic spices specific to ones location.
Here, I used garlic, ginger, tomatoes, basil, parsley and green
Seasoning (one of my favorite spice blend) – when am using white fish I usually go all out. If using salmon, I try to keep it simple.
The two important factors involved in cooking a successful fish in banana leaves are: ensure your leaf is wrapped tightly, so the steam does not escape.
You may use two bananas leaves one place on top of the other or use a foil paper to prevent any juice from escaping and adjust cooking time to the thickness of fish.
Fish in banana leaf (Liboke de poisson)
- 2-3 fish about one pound or less fillet or whole small fish
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2-3 tomatoes sliced
- 2-3 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon
- Herbs parsley, basil, thyme
- 1-2 teaspoon or more green seasoning optional
- Chicken bouillon or Maggie to taste optional
- Make three –four diagonal cuts in each side of the fish, all the way right through the bone. Season fish with salt, pepper, and squeeze some lemon over it. Set aside
- Prepare plantain leaves
- Cut the banana leaves into large rectangles, remove any ugly edges, submerge them in water to clean and drain pat- dry. Use aluminum paper if banana leaves are not available
- The leaves must be heated and wilted over an open high flame to make them flexible.
- Place the fish on the leaf, season with the entire spices divide equally among fish, and add onions and tomatoes.
- Then quickly fold banana leaves over it, and press sides into a rectangle shape making sure to press inwards so none of the juice from the fish runs out.
- Then fold the sides in to seal twice. You may use a rope to tie the bundle or place in foil paper. Repeat the process and set them.
- Bake fish for about 12-20 minutes depending on fish whole fish takes longer.
- Remove, let it cool and open check for doness.