Coconut Barra in Banana Leaf Recipe with 2014 Ghost Clare Valley Pinot Gris

February 27, 2016

Coconut Barra in Banana Leaf Recipe with 2014 Ghost Clare Valley Pinot Gris


Marinating 2-3 hours; Cooking time 15-18 minutes

We love this dish and it goes so well with our 2014 Ghost Clare Valley Pinot Gris…a match made in heaven.  You need to put aside some time for prep and marinating but, trust us, it is worth that extra effort!  If you can’t source banana leaves, foil lined with baking paper works (you just need to adjust the time approx. 10-12 minutes cooking time).

Serves 2


  • 2 Barramundi fillets (we sourced ours from our favourite fishmonger, Alf at Seafood on Henley) (Salmon also works well, keep skin on and ask your fishmonger to remove the bones)
  • 2 pieces fresh banana leaves, softened (see note below on ways to soften), cut into 25 cm x 20 cm rectangles
  • 6 toothpicks or 4 bamboo skewers
  • Additional banana leaves to serve (optional)
  • Lime or lemon wedges to serve (we prefer lime)
  • Garnish (we love shredded kaffir lime leaves and fresh red chillies)

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of coriander seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 eschalot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon, fresh coriander roots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • The black seeds of 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 small red chilli, chopped
  • 1 lemongrass (white part of stalk only), chopped
  • Himalayan rock salt, to taste
  • Handful of coriander leaves
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • ½ cup of coconut cream

Marinate method:

In a dry pan, toast the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant.  Place in mortar & pestle with all other ingredients except lime juice and coconut cream.  With a pestle, blend ingredients until you form a paste (you can use a food processor or hand-held blender) (hint: make a big patch of the paste as it freezes really well).  Once the paste has formed, put into a ceramic dish or zip lock bag with the fillets, lime juice and coconut cream.  Leave to marinate for 2-3 hours.

Cooking Method:

Preheat conventional oven to 220C (adjust for fan forced).

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

With your softened banana leaves, lay the banana leaf shiny-side down.  Sit barra fillet in the middle and spoon half the marinade over the fish.  Start wrapping your fillet and secure with toothpicks/skewers (toothpick side up on baking tray).  Place into your oven for 15-18 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish (we had to stretch this out to 20 mins).

Serve with rice or fresh Asian greens and, of course, a glass of 2014 Ghost Clare Valley Pinot Gris!  Enjoy.

Note:  To soften banana leaves, either place in bowl and pour boiling water over the leaves and leave for 5 minutes, or, using the smallest burner on your gas stove, carefully pass the leaves over the open flame until pliable.

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