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Grilling banana leaf wrapped parcels in an apartment?


KennethT
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For dinner tonight, my wife and I ordered in delivery from one of my favorite restaurants in NYC lately, Fish Cheeks - a Thai seafood restaurant (no photos - it was devoured before I even considered taking pics).  They change out about half their menu periodically, and the last two times we had a fantastic dish - a filet of branzino, coated in a house made red curry paste, wrapped in banana leaf and grilled.  This method of cooking is very common in Thailand (and all over SE Asia).

 

We will soon be moving into a new apartment with no gas service - so all my cooking will be electric from then on (or maybe a portable butane burner) which will take some getting used to, but I am looking forward to getting my induction burners.  But, how do you think I could replicate the grill for this type of banana leaf thing?  Many years ago after watching some Rick Bayless, I made a cochinita pibil in my Cameron's stovetop smoker - the pork shoulder was wrapped in a banana leaf and I cooked it with a combo of oak/mesquite chips in teh smoker for maybe 30-40 minutes, then bagged the whole thing and cooked it sous vide until tender.  It worked really well - the smokiness came through as did a bit of the charred banana leaf flavor.  But it's not like grilling - it's more like baking with smoke.

 

I've been considering getting one of those Philips infrared grills, but I hesitate because it seems like the non-stick coating on the grates comes off over time and that makes me uneasy.  I have a cast iron grill plate, but that won't give it that smoky flavor.

 

Any other ideas???  For what it's worth, my kitchen will be outfitted with a LARGE activated charcoal filter/fan combination, but my hood does not vent outside - just recirculates.  But there is a vent shaft duct in my kitchen wall as well as in the bathroom (right across the way from the kitchen) with pretty strong suction. So maybe I could rig up a small hibachi and not kill myself with carbon monoxide????

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Not being flip but the fish does not need long cook. Have you considered just the sandwich press type electric device. Can adjust so not squishing item. It doesn't take much high heat  to get the grilled leaf essence in there. If the fish is thick you  could lightly steam, pat off and then grill. I am always a fan of the broiler for that high heat hit as well. I love the scent and flavor of banana leaf even in a steamed tamal prep. I have the luxury of a little hibachi grill outside which hits the note. Have fun and report back w/o carbon monoxide ER tale ;) 

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4 hours ago, KennethT said:

For dinner tonight, my wife and I ordered in delivery from one of my favorite restaurants in NYC lately, Fish Cheeks - a Thai seafood restaurant (no photos - it was devoured before I even considered taking pics).  They change out about half their menu periodically, and the last two times we had a fantastic dish - a filet of branzino, coated in a house made red curry paste, wrapped in banana leaf and grilled.  This method of cooking is very common in Thailand (and all over SE Asia).

 

We will soon be moving into a new apartment with no gas service - so all my cooking will be electric from then on (or maybe a portable butane burner) which will take some getting used to, but I am looking forward to getting my induction burners.  But, how do you think I could replicate the grill for this type of banana leaf thing?  Many years ago after watching some Rick Bayless, I made a cochinita pibil in my Cameron's stovetop smoker - the pork shoulder was wrapped in a banana leaf and I cooked it with a combo of oak/mesquite chips in teh smoker for maybe 30-40 minutes, then bagged the whole thing and cooked it sous vide until tender.  It worked really well - the smokiness came through as did a bit of the charred banana leaf flavor.  But it's not like grilling - it's more like baking with smoke.

 

I've been considering getting one of those Philips infrared grills, but I hesitate because it seems like the non-stick coating on the grates comes off over time and that makes me uneasy.  I have a cast iron grill plate, but that won't give it that smoky flavor.

 

Any other ideas???  For what it's worth, my kitchen will be outfitted with a LARGE activated charcoal filter/fan combination, but my hood does not vent outside - just recirculates.  But there is a vent shaft duct in my kitchen wall as well as in the bathroom (right across the way from the kitchen) with pretty strong suction. So maybe I could rig up a small hibachi and not kill myself with carbon monoxide????

 

Speaking only about the Philips grill:  I used mine tonight.  The grate has become somewhat less not stick over time but I have never seen any material come off.  I still love the Philips grill though I have no idea how it works with bananas.  The only food I have had an issue with is fish.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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I recall the philips grill being described as nuclear hot. Perhaps I'm wrong.  That would not do good things to the insulating leaf.

 

For smoke you can use one of those stovetop deals...perhaps even cook in it with leaf in place.

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2 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

What fun is that?

 

Some people just don’t understand the need to accumulate kitchen toys.😂

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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2 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

What fun is that?

 

 

19 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Some people just don’t understand the need to accumulate kitchen toys.😂

All the space in my bedroom is currently occupied with other stuff!!

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