Recipe: Grilled halibut with cilantro-lime sauce in banana leaves

WRAPS: Grilled halibut in banana leaves and lamb meatballs in fig leaves.
WRAPS: Grilled halibut in banana leaves and lamb meatballs in fig leaves.
(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 50 minutes

Servings: 4

Note: Serve with rice.

8 small banana leaves, or 8 (10-by-12-inch) sections of larger leaves, thick ribs removed

2 jalapeños, 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

1. Blanch 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.

2. In 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.

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

4. Add 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.


5. Grill 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.

Each serving: 449 calories; 37 grams protein; 5 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 31 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 54 mg. cholesterol; 402 mg. sodium.