My good friend Andy is leaving on a trip to Taiwan with his family tomorrow so I wanted to pull together a nice meal before he jets off. During my lunch break I took a stroll through my favorite store in NYC, Kalustyans and found banana leaves in the frozen section! They were frozen and by the time I got home and ready to make dinner they had thawed and were good to be used. I was surprised to discover that the banana leaves I had purchased was two very very long leaves. I didn't have the space to unroll the leaves in my tiny kitchen unfortunately so the only picture I got was the leaves all rolled up. I marinated the salmon as usual. It was fun to wrap the salmon fillets in the banana leaves and even more fun unwrapping them. I've never had such tender and perfectly flaky salmon, it must be from baking it in banana leaves. I served this with a brown basmati rice pilaf and spicy roasted brussel sprouts. Unfortunately I forgot that brussel sprouts are the one food Andy doesn't like! Luckily he was willing to try them again and ended up enjoying them, or at least he said he did to be nice. I made three fillets so I could have the third for dinner the following night. I kept it wrapped in the banana leaf and wrapped that in a sheet of foil - I surprised that it still was perfectly tender and flaky the night after. These salmon-banana-leaf pouches need very little time so it's best to wait until the other parts of your meal are ready before you put it in the oven.
Salmon Baked in Banana Leaves
3 fillets of salmon
3 squares of banana leaves
1. Place in the salmon fillets in a zip lock back, pour in the orange juice, soy sauce, minced garlic and ginger powder. Seal and gently moved the fillets in the bag so all the juices get evenly incorporated. Place in the refrigerator and let marinate for 40 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Gently rinse the banana leaves, place a fillet skin side down on a banana leaf square and fold the leaf to form a pouch around the fillet. Do this with all the fillets and place them on a pan.
3. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Remove pan and serve the salmon-banana-leaf pouches.