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Barbecued coral trout in banana leaves with baby carrot escovitch

By Clare Maguire
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking (plus marinating, pickling, resting)
  • Serves 4 - 6
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Photo: Ben Dearnley
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.


  • 3 tsp allspice berries, toasted
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns, toasted
  • 1 tsp each ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 coral trout fillets (700gm each), skin on, pin-boned
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced
  • 4 pieces banana leaves, large enough to wrap fish (see note)
  • Micro purple shiso, to serve
Carrot escovitch
  • 100 ml red wine vinegar
  • 50 gm caster sugar
  • ½ tsp allspice berries, crushed
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 birdseye chilli, thinly sliced
  • 500 gm mixed baby heirloom carrots, peeled into ribbons


  • 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.

  • undefined: Clare Maguire