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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Recipe ~ Grilled stingray in banana leaf ~ by Sylvia Tan

I saw someone did this at a BBQ once. Managed to find it on the internet.

Recipe ~ Grilled stingray in banana leaf ~ by Sylvia Tan

We take it for granted, but cooking food in a wrap is familiar to many of us, grown up on paper-wrapped chicken and otak-otak. And it is a great idea. What happens is that the food is gently cooked, protected by the wrapping, enveloping it with the flavour of the seasonings used. And if you grill fish wrapped in a banana leaf, the leaf will invariably burn, giving a delicious smokiness to the wrapped article. A take on the classic otak-otak, grilled stingray in a banana leaf is today a Singapore modern classic. Few know however that it almost a foolproof way to cook fish.

While I give a recipe for the sambal below, just use a dollop from a bottle of nonya sambal chilli if you cannot be bothered to make the topping from scratch. And yes, the banana leaf will hide any commercial flavours from the bottle.

Ingredients (Serves 4):

• 300 g stingray
• 1 tomato – chopped
• 1 red chilli
• 1 teaspoon belacan (shrimp paste)
• 1 kaffir lime leaf, shredded
• 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
• A pinch of salt
• 1 banana leaf

1. Dice tomato and chilli. Mix it well with the belacan, oil and a pinch of salt.

2. Lay the stingray slice on a banana leaf and top it with the tomato chilli mixture and the shredded kaffir lime leaf.

3. Wrap up the fish with the leaf. Fasten parcel using a stapler. Do not worry if you cannot cover the entire fish. The banana leaf lends fragrance to the dish.

4. Place parcel under a hot grill for 10-15 minutes or until the leaf is burnt in parts. Remove and serve at once with hot rice.


- Instead of stingray, you can use a batang slice or a whole grey pomfret.

- If you do not have a grill, you can also barbecue this fish using a fish grilling basket over an open flame from a barbecue or the stove.

- Instead of fresh chilli and belacan, you can add a spoonful of bottled sambal belacan instead for the topping.


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