6kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced5coriander roots, trimmed and scraped3lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped3garlic cloves, coarsely chopped2small red chillies, coarsely chopped½Spanish onion, finely chopped30 gm (6cm piece) ginger, finely chopped2 tbspvegetable oil1 tbspshrimp paste, roasted (see note)200 mlcoconut cream (see note)2 tbspfish sauce2 tbsplime juice1½ tbspfinely grated light palm sugar8banana leaves, cut into 22cm squares4mulloway fillets (about 200gm each)½ cup (loosely packed) each Thai basil and corianderTo serve:thinly sliced long red chilli, steamed brown rice and lime wedges
Process lime leaves, coriander roots, lemongrass, garlic, chilli, onion and ginger in a food processor to a paste. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add shrimp paste and half the lime mixture (remainder will keep refrigerated for 3 days) and stir until fragrant (1 minute). Add coconut cream, increase heat to high, bring to the simmer and cook until thick (3-4 minutes). Stir in fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar, adjusting flavours to taste, cover and keep warm.
Place 2 pieces of banana leaf on a work surface. Place a piece of fish in the centre, spoon about 2 tbsp of sauce over, wrap to form a parcel and secure with kitchen string. Repeat with remaining fish and banana leaves.
Heat a large char-grill pan (or barbecue) over medium-high heat and cook fish, turning once, until just cooked through (8-10 minutes). Unwrap, top with herbs and chilli and serve with remaining sauce, steamed rice and lime.
Note To roast shrimp paste, wrap in foil and roast at 180C until fragrant (5-7 minutes). From a 400ml can of coconut cream, use thick cream only and reserve liquid for another use.
This recipe is from the December 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.