Seasoned Swordfish with citrus, ginger, tomatoes and cilantro wrapped in banana leaves then steamed. A cooking style I learned from my mother.
Besides frying, my mother would sometimes steam or grill the fish. She would wrap it in banana leaves and steam it on a wood stove. It was very satisfying to inhale the fragrant aroma of flavor before I sunk my fork into the moist, tender fish. Mm..so tasty!
Swordfish is one of my husband’s favorite seafood. He loves that I make it the same way.
Swordfish is dense, meaty, mildly sweet in flavor and an excellent source of protein. Each serving contains at least 30 grams according to guidelines. It’s also rich in potassium, Vitamin D & E, and selenium. According to studies, protein is very beneficial for you. Your body uses protein to produce enzymes, transport oxygen and maintain healthy tissues including your muscles, hair and nails. Potassium acts as electrolyte, an essential process for the function of your muscles and nerves while selenium provides protection against cancer.
However, we don’t eat it often (it’s been years since we had it last) because it’s expensive ($28 a pound) and high in mercury. Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant or planning to get pregnant should avoid eating swordfish. You can substitute tilapia (or any fish) instead and use the cooking procedures in this post. I tried it and it was just as good.
- 1 (.51 lb) Swordfish steak (or tilapia or salmon)
- 4 thinly cut firm butter (2 tablespoons)
- 6 tricolor cherry tomatoes (or any tomatoes), halves
- 6 slices of ginger (thickness of a nickel), divided
- slices of lemon and lime
- salt and pepper or soy sauce to taste or both ( I used salt and pepper)
- a handful of fresh cilantro
- 1 long green chili (optional)
- 4 large wilted banana leaves (large enough to fit all the ingredients), divided
- On low heat, wilt the banana leaves over your stove. Be careful not to burn yourself or the leaves.
- Drizzle the wilted leaves with small amount of oil then gently wipe with a paper towel. The oil makes it easy to wipe the banana leaves and prevent them from tearing.
- Layer three banana leaves and arrange in order the cilantro, 3 ginger slices, swordfish, the remaining 3 slices of ginger, butter, lemon & lime slices, tomatoes, and more cilantro. Season with the seasoning of your choice (salt and pepper, soy sauce or both)
- Wrap the fish by gathering the banana leaves and tuck the sides down or fold them up (the latter is best).
- Pull three strands from the remaining banana leaf and use them to tie to secure the wrap.
- Place in a steamer. Bring water to a rapid boil and steamed the fish for 30-35 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and cut the tie with scissors. Unfold the banana leaves and enjoy.
Note: You can go ahead and heat the water over low heat while you prepare the fish to save time. Then increase the heat when it’s time to steam the fish. You can also garnish it with chopped fresh cilantro.
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