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Recipe: Fish in banana leaf and stir-fry green beans

These tasty recipes for fish and green beans come from a new cookbook Taste Vietnam by Trinh Diem Vy. This talented chef teaches Vietnamese delights in her cooking classes at the Morning Glory Cooking School in Hoi An, Vietnam.

The fresh turmeric (it resembles a small ginger root, but the flesh is orange) and Chinese turnip is easily available in Singapore. Fresh wood ear mushrooms (ask for black fungi) can be found in wet markets, or use the dried version and reconstitute in a little cool water.


Fish in Banana Leaf

Serves 1-2 people per parcel


• 150gr firm white fish ie, Spanish mackerel, cut in 2cm cubes

• ¼ tsp sea salt

• ½ tsp sugar

• 1tsp fish sauce

• 1tblsp fresh turmeric

• 1 tblsp spring onions, sliced

• 1 tblsp wood ear mushrooms, sliced

• 2 tblsp glass noodles, soaked in cold water, 3cm lengths

• 2 tblsp vegetable oil

• 1 hot red chilli, seeded and sliced, (optional)

• 6 pieces banana leaf, cut into square  30cm x 30cm for



1. In a bowl, place fish, salt sugar and fish sauce and mix well to combine. Add pounded turmeric, spring onions, mushroom, noodles, oil and chilli. Stir well to combine.

2. Place one banana leaf on a flat surface in a diamond shape; place the next one on top as a square. Put fish mixture in the middle.

3. Fold pointed end closest to you over the middle, fold in both sides and then turn over so you have a square.

4. Fold remaining 4 banana leaves in half and wrap around square fish parcel until all sides are covered. Put in a BBQ wire basket and char grill 10 minutes on each side until banana leaf is black.

5. To serve take 4 folded banana leaves, then place a small plate on top of square parcel. Turn over and unwrap, tucking edges under. Put the small plate on a larger plate to hold edges under.

6. Serve with steamed rice.


Stir Fried Green Beans

Serves 4 as a side dish

• 300gr green beans, sliced thinly on the diagonal

• 100gr white onions, sliced, 2cm wide

• 50gr jicama (Chinese turnip), cut into ½ cm sticks

• 12 spring onions, white part only

• ¼ cup vegetable oil

• 1 tblsp shallots, pounded

• 1 tblsp white spring onions, chopped

• 1tsp fish sauce

• ¼ tsp sea salt

• pinch of sugar

• ½ cup spring onion curls

• ½ cup coriander leaves

Heat the oil in the wok. Add shallots, whole and chopped spring onions and onions and cook for 1 minute. Add stock, beans, jicama, fish sauce, salt and sugar, toss and cook over high heart for 2-3 minutes. The beans should still be crunchy.

Serve with spring onion curls and coriander.

Season to taste.