Barbecued coral trout in banana leaves with baby carrot escovitch

Aerial view of a barbecued coral trout wrapped partially in a banana leaf with grilled lemons and carrot escovitch.

Photo: Ben Dearnley

Ben Dearnley
4 - 6

More than just theatrics, the banana leaves encase this Jamaican-inspired coral trout to lock in moisture and flavour. The end result balances spice and smokiness with pickled carrots for bright, zingy acidity and a kick of chilli. Click here for more of our favourite barbecue recipes.


Carrot escovitch


1.For escovitch, bring vinegar, sugar, allspice, bay leaf, chilli and 100ml water to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar (3-5 minutes). Place carrots in a large bowl, pour over escovitch and stir gently to combine; cool and pickle for a minimum of 45 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, finely grind allspice and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a large bowl with cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, chilli, garlic, ginger, and oil. Add trout and using your hands coat in spice blend; cover and refrigerate (30 minutes).
3.Preheat a lightly greased barbecue with a hood or char-grill pan to high. Place banana leaves, dull-side up, on a work surface. Place trout, skin-side down, in centre of each leaf, season to taste, and top evenly with lime slices; enclose and secure each parcel with toothpicks. Place parcels on barbecue, close hood and cook for 10 minutes then turn. Close hood and cook until leaves have blackened, and trout is just cooked through (8-10 minutes); rest for 5 minutes before serving.
4.Drain escovitch, transfer fish to serving plates, unwrap banana leaf, top with escovitch and micro shiso.

Banana leaves are available from Asian greengrocers. To cook fish in a char-grill pan or plate, cook, in batches, and cover with a large metal bowl.


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