Barramundi in banana leaf

Barramundi in banana leaf.
Barramundi in banana leaf. Photo: Marcel Aucar

Wrap a barramundi in banana leaves for a quick and easy baked dinner that tastes complex.


6 large banana leaves, or enough to wrap the fish easily

1 whole barramundi, about 3 kg, scaled, cleaned, fins removed

salt and pepper

¼ bunch coriander, chopped

¼ bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 sprigs thyme, leaves chopped

1 long red chilli, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

100ml olive oil


Juice and finely grated zest of 2 limes

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp soy sauce

50g brown sugar

2 long red chillies, seeded and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 golden shallot, finely chopped

6 coriander roots, washed and minced

1 spring onion, finely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 170C. Place half the banana leaves on a work surface and lay the fish on top. Season the fish with salt and pepper and rub it in well, then scatter over herbs, chilli and garlic and massage into the skin and cavity. Pour the olive oil all over the fish, then place the remaining banana leaves on top and wrap the fish securely. Place in a large roasting pan and bake for 40 minutes or until just cooked through.

2. For the dressing, mix the lime juice and zest, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the remaining ingredients, season and mix well.

3. Remove the fish from the oven and carefully lift it out of the roasting tray onto a serving platter. Leave 10 minutes then unwrap the fish, pour over the dressing and serve.


- Barramundi are delicious, fascinating fish. They live in fresh and saltwater, change from male to female once they reach a certain size and eat almost anything. Part of the sea perch family, they are related to the Nile perch and are fantastic cooked whole.

- Asian grocers sell banana leaves. If you have trouble keeping the fish wrapped, secure the leaves with an extra layer of foil.

- When the fish comes out of the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes before unwrapping it, to make sure it's cooked through.