This recipe was inspired by cookbook author, restaurateur and Hawaiian TV host Sam Choy. The use of the banana leaves adds a wonderful flavor to the fish and creates a standout presentation.
For the Fish and Marinade
- 1⁄2 cup tamari
- 4 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 tsp. lemongrass, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. Sriracha
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 4 (6-oz.) grouper filets
- 4 (10-by-12–inch) banana leaf sheets
- 4 (1/2-by-12–inch) thin banana leaf strips
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
For the Herb Butter
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- Zest of 1/4 lime
- 1⁄4 tsp. minced lemongrass
- 1⁄2 tsp. minced ginger
- 1 tsp. chopped cilantro
For the marinade: Combine tamari, fish sauce, lemongrass, Sriracha, and sugar in a medium bowl. Place grouper in marinade for 20 minutes. Set aside.
Make the herb butter: Blend butter, lime zest, lemongrass, ginger, and cilantro in a small bowl. Set aside.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil for the bamboo steamer. Remove grouper filets from marinade and place in center of banana leaf. Top fish with 1 1⁄2 tsp. of herb butter and 3 pieces of julienned red pepper.
Fold leaf into a package and tie with a banana leaf strip. Place in bamboo steamer in a single layer and cook 8-10 minutes. Note: If using a multi-tiered steamer, keep in mind that the fish in the top basket will take approximately 2 minutes longer to cook.
To serve, place sealed fish packages on individual plates to be opened at the table.