Fish Steamed in Leaves

One of Hawaii's greatest culinary treasures is its wealth of seafood—varied, sometimes unfamiliar, and delicious. This is a dressed up version of a basic fish recipe. Ti leaves are considered the Hawaiian foil but may be hard to find; banana leaves or dried bamboo leaves can be substituted.

Fish Steamed in Leaves
Steaming the fish in leaves keeps it moist and flaky, and also imparts a delightful flavor from the leaf itself.
Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-lb.) whole red snapper, cleaned
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Chinese sausage, sliced
  • 14 cup mayonnaise, plus 2 tbsp.
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, julienned
  • 12 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 5 ti (or bamboo or banana) leaves

Instructions

  1. Score the skin of the snapper in a diamond pattern. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix green onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, sausage, and 1⁄4 cup of the mayonnaise in a small bowl. Fill fish cavity with mixture.
  3. Scatter ginger and cilantro on top. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over fish.
  4. Cut stalks from ti leaves and steam for 5 minutes. Lay fish on one leaf, cover with another, and tie remaining leaves around fish. Steam on rack over boiling water in a covered pan in a 350° oven for about 35 minutes.