175 gm(200ml) coconut oil75 gm(1/3 cup) red curry paste (see recipe for red curry of beef)20(25gm) pea eggplant2young coconuts, flesh scooped out and thinly sliced55 gmshaved light palm sugar, or to taste100 mlfish sauce, or to taste4pieces of banana leaf, 15cm x 30cm each2rainbow trout, filleted and pinboned20Thai basil leaves, plus extra to serve200 mlcoconut cream4kaffir lime leaves, cut into julienne, plus extra to serveTo serve:long red chilli, cut into julienne, and fried shallots
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add curry paste and stir until oil separates from the paste. Add pea eggplant and half the coconut and cook for 5 minutes, then add sugar and fish sauce and season well to taste – it should be hot, salty and sweet. Cool paste mixture for 5 minutes in a bowl.
Meanwhile, place half the banana leaf pieces on a work surface and wipe clean with a damp cloth. Lay the leaves half overlapping on a board with the natural lines running in the same direction. Lay one trout fillet on top, skin-side down. Spread half the paste evenly over fillet, pressing pea eggplant into fillet, scatter over half the Thai basil, and spoon over a quarter of the coconut cream and a quarter of the remaining coconut flesh. Sprinkle over half the kaffir lime leaf and place another fillet on top, flesh-side down. Fold banana leaf over the fish, fold in sides and fold to enclose, creating a parcel effect, then secure with a skewer. Repeat to make a second parcel.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Heat a char-grill over medium-high heat. Grill parcels for 2 minutes, then turn and grill for another 2 minutes. Transfer to an oven tray and roast until fish is cooked through (8-10 minutes).
To serve, open banana leaf parcel and place on a plate. Scatter over remaining young coconut flesh, basil, kaffir lime, chilli and fried shallot and drizzle with remaining coconut cream.
This recipe is from the November 2009 issue of Australian