Steamed Fish Curry in Banana Leaf Cups

Traditionally banana leaves are folded into little ramekins and used as containers to steam the fish curry. Use 6-ounce ramekins if you can’t find the banana leaves. For this recipe you will need a large steamer with a flat steaming tray.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 45 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 12 banana leaves, thawed and cleaned
  • 1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. rice flour
  • 1⁄4 cup jarred red curry paste
  • 1 lb. red snapper or catfish, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 cups Thai basil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. finely julienned lime zest


  • Make banana leaf cups by trimming leaves to 6-inch strips. Layer 2 strips to form a 6-by-6-inch square. Pinch the edges in to overlap, forming a cup shape and secure with toothpicks.
  • Shake coconut milk can and open it. Combine 1⁄2 cup coconut milk with rice flour in a large frying pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir constantly until rice flour is cooked, about 1 minute.
  • Combine curry paste and 1 cup coconut milk in a mixing bowl, stirring until well mixed. Add fish, egg, and fish sauce and stir to combine. Slowly add the rest of coconut milk, stirring at the same time. Cook, stirring slowly for another 20 minutes in order for the mixture to thicken. Add 1⁄2 cup Thai basil and stir to mix.
  • Line the banana leaf cups with the rest of the Thai basil. Scoop out fish mixture and fill each ramekin with fish mixture until the mixture is all gone.
  • Steam fish curry in a large steamer over high heat for 15 minutes. Top the ramekins with the coconut milk and rice flour mixture and continue to steam for 1 minute. Turn off heat and let cool slightly. Garnish with lime zest before serving.