|Steamed Baramundi in banana leaf (Photo: KOTO)
A: Welcome to another episode of Food Delight on VOV24/7 with recipes and cooking tips. If you are looking for a restaurant-style recipe to please your taste, stay tuned.
B: Today, we’ll offer you a typical Asian style dish “steamed Baramundi in banana leaf”.
A: Let’s talk about the ingredients first. Baramundi is the main ingredient, of course. It is an ocean fish. Baramundi has become an increasingly popular choice for its delicate sweet flavor and rich nutrients which are good for your health.
B: And the most important thing is that it does not take too much time to prepare.
A: But, there are still some techniques to make it a success. Head Chef Le Duc Phong from KOTO, a non-profit social enterprise providing vocational training to disadvantaged youths, will instruct us on how to make “steamed Baramundi in banana leaf”.
B: “Steamed Baramundi in banana leaf” is a signature dish from the new devised menu of KOTO.
A: The first step is to prepare the ingredients for the dish. Baramundi is a kind of sea fish. Phong, what is special about Baramundi?
Phong: “This fish lives in the ocean, so its meat has strong flavor and good texture. It will taste best when it is steamed”.
B: What do we need to pay attention to when preparing the fish?
Phong: “First, remove the fish scales and bones. Be careful with the small bones. It is very dangerous to eat if the bones are not totally removed. Then, the fish is cut into 2 centimeter long piece”.
A: The fish is now ready. It’s time to marinate the fish. Familiar spices include shallots, spring onions, ginger, chilies, and dills. Am I right?
Phong: “Spot on. We add a little of soya sauce, fish sauce to the fish. You know, the ocean fish has stronger smell than fresh water fish. So, ginger will wipe out the fishy smell. Marinate the fish for 1 hour to let it absorb all spices. Then, Wrap the fish in the banana leaf. Wrap one by one”.
B: Phong, fresh banana leaves are tough and hard to fold and wrap. How should we deal with this?
Phong: “There is a small tip here. Put the banana leaves in boiling water, very quick, then take them out and run through cold water. By doing so, we can keep the green color of the leaves and make them pliable. The fish is wrapped in 2 layers. The first layer ensures the piece of the fish fixed in right shape. The fish then is wrapped in the second layer to keep it closed and prevent the juice from leaking out”.
A: Oh, I see. It is not as simple as I thought at first. Now comes the final step, steam the fish. Prepare a steamer pot.
Phong: “The fish is steamed over high heat to cook the fish well inside and enhance the flavors of all spices. When the fish is well cooked, we feel the fragrance of banana leaves, ginger, and dills”.
B: Normally, we have a bowl of dipping sauce to put aside. How do you make the dipping sauce to serve with “steamed Baramundi in banana leaf”?
Phong: “We don’t need dipping sauce for this dish. As you know, the fish is marinated with various kinds of spices and closely wrapped in the leaves, so all the spices are kept inside. This dish is best served with rice. At KOTO, we serve “steamed Baramundi in banana leaf”? with fried rice and lotus seeds. It’s a great combination”.
A: Well, we’ve learned how to make “steamed Baramundi in banana leaf” with chef Phong at KOTO restaurant. Why don’t you try making the dish at home with the recipe and cooking tips provided by Phong? Tell us how successful you are in preparing this dish. Thank you, Phong for your time. We hope to welcome you again with more recipes. Good bye.