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Arabian Gulf-Style Fish in Banana Leaves


Banana leaves not only prevent delicate snapper from sticking to the grill, but they also impart a sweet, mellow flavor. Martha made this recipe on “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School” episode 502.

  • Servings:



  • 1 whole snapper (about 3 pounds), scaled and cleaned
  • 1/4 cup ghee, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, plus 1/4 cup chopped
  • 6 sprigs dill, plus 1/4 cup chopped
  • 5 fresh banana leaves, each cut to about 3 feet long, thawed if frozen
  • Celery and Herb Salad
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium or a large grill pan over medium. Rinse fish under cold water; pat dry. Coat the interior and exterior of the fish with ghee. Season the fish all over with salt and pepper. Place the herb sprigs inside the cavity of the fish and sprinkle the exterior with the chopped herbs; set aside.

  2. Wipe any dirt or dust off of banana leaves with a damp cloth. Place leaves, overlapping one another, on a clean work surface with long ends parallel to edge of work surface. Leaves should overlap by about 3 inches. Position the fish vertically in the center of the leaves, folding one edge of the leaves over to cover the fish. Then roll to wrap the fish completely with leaves and tuck ends under.

  3. Place wrapped fish on grill and cook for 15 minutes. Carefully flip wrapped fish and cook until leaves are charred and fish is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes more.

  4. To serve, unwrap the fish and transfer to a platter. Top with celery and herb salad; serve with lime wedges.