Sardines roasted in banana leaves with olives & cherry tomatoes

Sardines roasted in banana leaves with olives & cherry tomatoes

Sardines grillées dans des feuilles de bananier avec olives et tomates cerises

By
From
Luke Nguyen's France
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Alan Benson

Many French recipes ask to cook fish in baking paper. I prefer to use banana leaves, as they impart a unique aroma and flavour to the fish, and also retain all the juices of the ingredients the fish is cooked with.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 fresh banana leaf portions, each 20 cm long
4 whole fresh sardines, cleaned
4 thyme sprigs
60ml extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
4 anchovies, from a jar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
10 small black olives
4 slices lemon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Run the banana leaves across a hot large pan a few times until softened and workable.
  2. Place a sardine on each softened banana leaf. Season the sardines with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place a thyme sprig in each cavity, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or two, until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes, anchovies and fish sauce. Cook for a few more minutes, until the tomato has softened, then stir in the olives. Remove from the heat.
  4. Place a slice of lemon over each sardine. Spoon the tomato mixture over the sardines, then fold all the edges of the banana leaves over, securing all sides with toothpicks.
  5. Place the parcels in the oven and bake for 10–12 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through.
  6. Transfer the banana leaf parcels to a platter. Cut through the top layer of each banana leaf and serve.
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