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Whole Grilled Fish with Crispy Garlic and Red Chiles. Photo © Anson Smart
© Anson Smart

Whole Grilled Fish with Crispy Garlic and Red Chiles

  • TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • FAST
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

Pete Evans grills whole fish in banana leaves with soy, sherry and ginger.

  1. Six 18-inch-long banana leaves, rinsed (see Note)
  2. 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  3. 6 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced separately
  4. Two 2-pound whole red snappers
  5. 1/4 cup sherry
  6. 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  7. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  8. 8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  9. 2 fresh long red chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
  10. Salt
  11. 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  12. Lime wedges, for serving
  1. Light a grill and line the grate with lightly oiled heavy-duty aluminum foil. Arrange the banana leaves in two stacks of 3 and sprinkle each with one-fourth of the ginger and scallion whites. Cut 3 gashes into the flesh on both sides of each fish, cutting to the bone. Set the fish on the banana leaves and scatter the remaining ginger and scallion whites on top. Sprinkle with the sherry and soy sauce. Fold the leaves over the fish and tie each packet in 3 places with kitchen string.
  2. Place the packets on the grate, close the grill and cook over high heat for 25 minutes, turning the packets once, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the fish registers 140°. Carefully transfer the packets to a platter and let rest for 2 minutes. Cut them open and peel back the banana leaves.
  3. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and chiles and cook over low heat, stirring, until the garlic is crisp, 2 minutes. Spoon the oil, garlic and chiles over the fish; season with salt. Scatter the cilantro and scallion greens on top and serve with lime wedges.
Notes Banana leaves are available in Latin and Asian markets.

Suggested Pairing

Beer Chimay Red, a Belgian Trappist beer, has a fruity richness that balances the chiles here. For wine, try a lemony Semillon.

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