Many cooks only grill thick fish steaks because thin fillets break and fall into the fire. But a banana leaf solves the problem elegantly. It’s naturally nonstick, covers the rack, and lends subtle grassy sweetness to thinner fillets like flounder, snapper, tilapia, and sole, along with smoky grilled flavor.

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Credit: Victor Protasio

Recipe Summary

15 mins
35 mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 fillet and 1 tbsp. shallot mixture)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat grill to medium-high (about 450°F). Stir together cilantro, olive oil, shallot, lime juice, chile, lemongrass, brown sugar, ginger, and fish sauce in a medium bowl.

  • Sprinkle fillets with salt. Place banana leaves on grill grates; top each leaf with 2 flounder fillets. Spoon 1/4 cup shallot mixture evenly over fillets. Grill, covered, until flounder is opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

  • Using 2 spatulas, carefully remove fish-topped banana leaves from grill. Place each fillet on a fresh banana leaf for serving, if desired; divide remaining shallot mixture among fillets.

Nutrition Facts

261 calories; fat 17g; saturated fat 3g; protein 22g; carbohydrates 6g; sugars 3g; added sugar 1g; sodium 589mg.