Recipes > Steamed Asian Sea Bass in Banana Leaves

Steamed Asian Sea Bass In Banana Leaves


Wrapped in banana leaves, fresh sea bass is steamed with lemongrass, makrut lime leaves, chilies and leeks.
  • Serves: 2
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Views: 38,762
  • Success Rating: 97% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing the Fish

Preparing the Fish
  • 12 oz fresh sea bass
  • fresh lime slices
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 2 makrut lime leaves
  • 1 small, fresh, red chili
  • 1/4 cup leek
  • 1 large banana leaf
  • kosher salt (to taste)


First set up a steamer. Fill with one inch of water and place over medium-high heat. Refer to the lessons on Steaming for more information, if necessary.

To prepare the fish, first slice the lime. Cut off the bottom third of the lemongrass stalk and cut in half lengthwise. Thinly slice the chili on the bias and julienne the leeks. Gather the makrut lime leaves and set aside.

You can cook the fish in one package, or you can cut it into two pieces and make individual packages – it’s up to you.

Fan the lime slices in the middle of the banana leaf and place the lemongrass over top. Season all sides of the fish with salt and place over the lemongrass. Place the makrut lime leaves on top, followed by the chilies and leeks. Fold the bottom of the leaf over top of the fish. Fold the sides over and roll to close.

Place the package into the steamer basket, with the opening on the bottom of the basket, so the package doesn’t open during cooking.

Step 2: Steaming & Serving the Fish

Steaming & Serving the Fish


Once the water is simmering, place the fish over the steamer and cover with a lid. Depending on the thickness and size of the fish, let steam for about 10 minutes or so. Until you are familiar with how quickly the fish steams, you can quickly unwrap the package and test the fish for doneness. If it is not done, quickly wrap and return it to the steamer.

Once done, you can either serve the package to each diner or you can open it and plate it first. Serve this dish alongside some steamed rice and enjoy!


  • Harvey K
    Harvey K
    why is the video version not available?
  • Sandy S
    Sandy S
    Hi Harvey, This recipe only has a text version. Sorry for the inconvenience. Cheers, Sandy
  • Cecilia B
    Cecilia B
    Can I use foil to substitute for banana leaves? Will that effect the recipe?
  • Sandy S
    Sandy S
    Hi Cecilia, If you don't have the banana leaves, I would recommend using parchment paper instead. You won't have the subtle flavor that you get from the banana leaves but all the other flavors will shine through nicely. I don't recommend using foil for 2 reasons; first, the aluminum will react with the acidity in the lime and even pull aluminum out of the sheet directly onto the food, the second reason is that the parchment is a bit more porous and will allow the steam to properly do it's job. Best of luck, I hope you enjoy this dish! Cheers, Sandy

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