A simple Thai curry flavored marinade adds tropical flavor to this Tropical Instant Pot Fish In Banana Leaves (Or Parchment). Firm white fish is steamed in banana leaves, after a quick soak in a coconut milk and Thai curry marinade, then drizzled with the remaining marinade and topped with a fresh mango salsa.
This recipe first appeared on Pressure Cooking Today where I am a contributor.
The clock talked loud. I threw it away, it scared me what it talked.~~ Tillie Olsen, American writer and an early feminist.
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
Time seems to be scarce for most of us, and I'm "all about" cooking methods that allow me to cook the kind of meals I love to cook in the time I have available for cooking. 😀 My pressure cooker has become an invaluable tool, and until this recipe, I had not used it for fish.
Contributing to Pressure Cooking Today has provided a great incentive to use it for a broader range of dishes. This post may look familiar... It is an adaptation of my Thai Curried Snapper in Banana Leaves. The benefits of the pressure cooker are twofold: You won't heat up your kitchen with the steam coming off your stove, and you shave a few minutes off the cooking time.
I recently moved to the Rio Grande Valley (in Texas near the Gulf of Mexico). The climate has brought its challenges (endless summer and high humidity), but the produce and seafood options are amazing! I love the tropical fruits, unusual vegetables (opo squash and chaya), and the bountiful fresh fish and shellfish.
Banana leaves make a perfect wrapper for steaming in the Instant Pot/pressure cooker. I actually have 3 banana "trees" in my garden, but the stiff daily breeze shreds the leaves. However, the markets carry packets of beautiful banana leaves that I assume are grown in more sheltered conditions. I use kitchen shears to cut them into the right shape and size for what I'm doing.
The fish gets a short soak of about 30 minutes in a Thai curry marinade. It is then topped with lime slices and chopped cilantro, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes. While the fish steams, I cook down the marinade, and prepare a simple mango salsa.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
- coconut milk
- Thai green curry paste
- fish sauce
- 2 limes
- brown sugar
- minced garlic
- fresh ginger
- 2 fish portions
- mango salsa
- scallions (garnish)
- Make the marinade - Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Pour marinade over the fillets. Soak 30 minutes (more or less is fine too). While the fish soaks in the marinade, combine the ingredients for the mango salsa.
- Make the fish packets - Depending on size of the fillets, cut a generous piece of banana leaf. Wrap it up burrito-style to form a fairly tight packet. The leaves will probably tear along the veins. This is okay. Use kitchen shears to trim away excess.
- Cook the fish packets - Add 2 cups of water to the Instant Pot/pressure cooker. Place a steamer basket in the pressure cooker. The water should not touch the lower tier of the steamer. Add your fish packets to the steamer. Cover and lock. Pressurize on high for 5 minutes. Do a quick pressure release. Leave the lid in place until ready to plate. While the fish is cooking, pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Keep at a low simmer until ready to plate the fish.
- Serve - To put it all together, unwrap those lovely banana leaf packets, and carefully lift the fish on to your plates. Remove the lime slices, drizzle with the marinade/sauce, add a scoop of mango salsa, and garnish with chopped cilantro and scallions.
💭 Tips and FAQ
I cannot get banana leaves. What else can I use? You can wrap the packets in parchment, and then again in foil. See Pressure Cooker Fish In A Packet from Hip Pressure Cooking for specific instructions.
What kinds of fish can I use? On photo day, I used sea bass, but it is expensive. I keep sustainable barramundi fish fillets in my freezer, and they're perfect! Halibut, cod, and firm fish will be good. Choose your favorite!
🍷 Pairing Suggestions
We enjoy a dry, unoaked white wine - sauvignon blanc, viognier, chardonnay - or a dry rosé with this (and most) fish dishes. If craft beers are more appealing, a fruit wheat beer or a summery saison would be delicious.
- 1 cup lite coconut milk
- ½ to 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- zest of 1 lime and juice of ½ lime
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 fish portions (see Notes or Tips)
- 1 lime, cut in thin slices
- a sprinkle of cilantro leaves and chopped scallion
- mango salsa
- a handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 scallion, chopped
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Pour marinade over the fillets. Soak 30 minutes (more or less is fine too).
- While the fish soaks in the marinade, combine the ingredients for the mango salsa.
- Depending on size of the fillets, cut a generous piece of banana leaf. Wrap it up burrito-style to form a fairly tight packet. The leaves will probably tear along the veins. This is okay. Use kitchen shears to trim away excess.
- Add 2 cups of water to the pressure cooker. Place a steamer in the pressure cooker. The water should not touch the lower tier of the steamer.
- Add your fish packets to the steamer. Cover and lock.
- Pressurize on high for 5 minutes. Do a quick pressure release. Leave the lid in place until ready to plate.
- While the fish is cooking, pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Keep at a low simmer until ready to plate the fish.
- To serve, remove the fish portions from the packets. Discard lime slices. Garnish with a drizzle of the curry sauce, a scoop of mango salsa, and a bit of fresh chopped cilantro and scallion if desired.
This dish works really well with firm white fish such as sea bass, grouper, snapper, and cod. If the fillets are thick, roll them or fold them inside the packet.
You can double the recipe if you can easily fit them in your pressure cooker loosely in a steam basket. If not, leave the fish in its wrapper and keep warm while you repeat on additional fish.
Thai curry pastes contain chiles. If you're not familiar with them, they're spicy! Whisk the marinade ingredients together using a smaller amount, and add to taste (before adding the fish).
I keep store-bought curry paste on hand, and I sometimes make my own. Both yield delicious results!
The marinade is quite a generous amount for 2 fish portions. After it is simmered gently for a few minutes, it is poured over the steamed fish. There is plenty to pour over some simple sauteed vegetables as well. We love a mixture of squash (opo, zucchini, yellow) and red bell peppers.
Our favorite way to serve this is with coconut rice! I have a recipe on my blog for Calamari Curry With Coconut Rice. The Coconut Rice in that post is good, and there are others on the internet as well.
Macronutrients are an approximation only from MyFitnessPal.com, and include 2-6 ounce portions of barramundi and half of the mango salsa.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 5gCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 38g