Burmese Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves Recipe

Serves/Makes: 4


  • 1 1/2 pound (750 g) catfish or any other firm fish fillet
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • I teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder, optional
  • 1 tablespoon thick coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground rice
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 8 leaves Chinese mustard cabbage
  • Large pieces of banana leaf or aluminum foil
  • Few springs fresh coriander leaves
How to cook Burmese Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves:
  • Cut the catfish fillet into 8 pieces of equal size wash and dry well then sprinkle with half the salt, pepper and turmeric. Leave aside while preparing remaining ingredients. Slice one onion and set aside. Chop the other onion and put into container of electric blender with garlic and ginger, chili powder and coconut milk. Blend to a puree.
  • Mix puree with remaining salt, pepper and turmeric, ground rice and sesame oil. Put in the pieces of fish and mix well. Slice the thick middle rib out of the mustard cabbage leaves and use in another dish (lettuce or spinach leaves may be used if these are not available). Cut banana leaves into pieces large enough to wrap the pieces of fish and scald them or hold over heat to make them pliable. On each piece of banana leaf put a leaf of mustard cabbage and on it a piece of fish and some of the spice mixture. Top with a few coriander leaves and some of the sliced onion.
  • Wrap fish first in the cabbage leaf, then make a parcel with the banana leaf. Fasten with short bamboo skewers or wooden toothpicks. Alternatively wrap in foil. Put in a steamer and steam over gently boiling water for 20 25 minutes.
  • Serve in the leaves. Guests open their parcels on their own plates. Serve a bowl of white rice alongside.


These leaf-wrapped parcels of fish are a popular Burmese dish and easily made, substituting aluminum foil for banana leaves.
The Burmese name for this recipe is Nga Baung Doke.

This recipe for Burmese Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves serves/makes: 4

The Burmese Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves recipe is adopted from The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon.

Main Ingredient: Catfish (more Catfish recipes)
Preparation Method: Steamed (more Steamed recipes)
Cuisine: Other Asian (more Other Asian recipes)

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