- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon palm sugar (see Note) or light brown sugar
- 4 large stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner cores of the bottom third only, chopped
- 2 medium shallots, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 1 fresh long red chile, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Six 6-ounce Spanish, Boston or king mackerel fillets, with skin
- Vegetable oil, for rubbing
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 banana leaves, each cut into a 12-by-10-inch piece (see Note)
How to make this recipe
- In a blender or mini food processor, combine the palm sugar, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, ginger, chile and lime juice; pulse to make a slightly coarse puree. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the fish sauce and cilantro.
- Light a grill. Score the skin side of each mackerel fillet 3 or 4 times, rub with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place a fillet skin side up in the center of each banana leaf. Fold up each leaf like an envelope to enclose the fish.
- Grill the packets over moderately high heat until the fish is barely opaque in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Place a banana leaf packet on each plate and pass the sauce at the table.