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Red Snapper Grilled in Banana Leaves

Wrapping delicate red snapper fillets in banana leaves protects them from the direct heat of the grill. If you can't find banana leaves, wrap the fish in foil.

slideshow Amazing Seafood Recipes

  • Servings: 8

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  • 2 banana leaves, each cut crosswise into 4 rough squares (see Note)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Eight 6-ounce red snapper fillets with skin, about 3/4 inches thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Light a charcoal grill or preheat the oven to 450°. Spread the banana leaves on a flat surface and brush lightly with half of the oil. Set a fish fillet, skin side down, on each leaf and brush with the remaining oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper and fold up the banana leaves like an envelope to enclose the fish.
  2. Set the packets, seam side down, on the grill. Cover the grill and cook for 7 minutes. Alternatively, arrange the fish packets, seam side down, on a large baking sheet and bake in the oven for 7 minutes. Serve the fish in the banana leaves so each guest can unwrap his own.


Banana leaves are available at Latin American and Asian markets.

Suggested Pairing

For the spicy flavors of this food, Laurence Kretchmer, Bobby Flay's partner and the overseer of the wine lists at Mesa Grill and Bolo, likes Pinot Blanc, a dry, crisp wine with some nice suggestions of fruit, specifically orange and melon in the nose. It's a little rounder and richer than a Sauvignon Blanc. It also has more body and acidity, which makes it a great foil for the heat of the chiles. The wine exhibits excellent fruit and goes beautifully with the snapper and the Grilled Squid Salad with Mango.

Contributed By Published July 1996

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