Fish Parcels with Thai Paste

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Create an authentic Asian fish dinner in minutes with this simple recipe.

Preparation Time

15 minutes

Cooking Time

10 minutes


You will need eight 10cm lengths of banana leaf and a large metal steaming pan or bamboo steamer for this recipe. Banana leaves are available from greengrocers or Asian supermarkets.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 (about 800g) barramundi fillets, cut into 8 portions
  • 2 tbs fresh lime juice
  • Salt
  • 1 long fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3cm-piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 stem lemon grass, pale section only, finely chopped
  • 100ml Kara coconut cream
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • Steamed rice, to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve


  1. Place the fish in a glass dish. Drizzle with lime juice and season with salt.

  2. Place the chilli, garlic, ginger and lemon grass in a mortar and use a pestle to gently pound until a smooth paste forms. Add coconut cream and fish sauce and stir until well combined.

  3. Wipe the banana leaves with a damp cloth. Place 2 pieces of banana leaf in a large metal steaming pan or bamboo steamer over a saucepan or wok of simmering water. Steam, covered, for 30 seconds or until leaves are soft and pliable. Place banana leaves on a clean work surface so they form a cross. Place 2 pieces of fish in the centre of the cross and top with one-quarter of the spice paste. Fold banana leaf to enclose fish and make a parcel. Secure each end of the parcel with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining banana leaves, fish and spice paste. Place fish parcels in steaming basket. Steam, covered, for 8 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Divide among serving plates and serve with steamed rice and lime wedges.

    Thanks to for this delicious recipe!