“This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of Influencer Activation for Influence Central.”
I remember while living in Florida that we can easily go to a neighbor’s house and ask for some fresh banana leaves, right from the tree. Living there remain me a lot of my hometown in the Gulf of Mexico. The bounty of fresh seafood just like in my town, the seafood offerings depending on the month range from Florida grouper, tuna, lobster, tilapia, crab, mahi mahi, oysters and much more. And the produce sold at the local farmers is always of excellent quality like strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, sweet corn and watermelon
A cook in the city of Xalapa, Veracruz, gave this recipe to me about 18 years ago, she worked as a cook in a local restaurant, and she told that it was one of the easiest ways to prepare fish, and she was right. This recipe is so versatile, you can add cherry tomatoes instead of plum tomatoes, skip the Serrano or jalapeño peppers and use Bell peppers, use white or yellow onion, well you can get really creative with it and adjust to the vegetables in season and your personal taste. The banana leaves give the fish a very herbal taste; I hope you can find it in your local stores.
- 4 Pieces of banana leaves* or parchment paper (10inX8In)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 (6oz) Tilapia fillets or other of fish.
- 1-teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 lime
- Salt and pepper to season
- 2 Plum tomatoes cut in slices
- 1 jalapeno or 2 serrano pepper sliced
- ½ cup green onions, chopped
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- You can buy fresh banana leaves at Latin stores or even frozen at your local supermarket. Check the freezer section.
- Banana leaves need to be washed and then slightly warmed over your gas stove flame to soften them. Check the recipe for tamales to know how to prepare them.
- If Banana leaves are not available use parchment paper or aluminum foil well greased.
- You can use other types of fish to prepare this recipe, increase baking time for if thicker fillets.
1. Preheat oven at 375 F degrees. Season fish fillets with garlic powder, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add a little drizzle of olive oil over each piece of banana leaf or parchment paper. Place each fish fillet on a piece banana leave.
2. Cover each fillet with three tomato slices, a few of the jalapeno pepper slices and garnish with chopped green onion and cilantro leaves.
3. Carefully wrap the fish folding the sides of the banana leaf first and then the ends to create a rectangle shaped package. Arrange the packages on a baking sheet. Bake until fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
4. To serve, carefully open the packages, allow a few seconds to release the steam, and you can serve them directly in the banana leaf on a plate or remove the fish using a spatula. Garnish with more cilantro leaves and green onions if you have any leftovers. White rice and lime wedges are good companions for this dish.
The next time you go to your local supermarket, look for fruits, vegetables and seafood from Florida. You can visit the Fresh from FloridaWebsite and the Florida Department of Agriculture to get ideas for your next dinner; they have recipes and information to know what type of produce is on season. Click here to see the list of produce available this month of June. And if you are visiting Florida, check their website for all the activities they have to offer: like fruit picking, and seafood festivals. Fresh from Florida and the Florida State of Agriculture guarantees fresh and delicious food so you can enjoy healthy and wholesome meals.