Saba’s recipe for hake in banana leaf

This delicious dish will give you a taste of Thailand without getting on a plane.

You will need: (serves four)

  • 800 g hake fillet, skin off
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 4 medium banana leaves

For the marinade:

  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, cut into fine strips
  • 1 tablespoon of red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • ½ tablespoon or 10 g palm sugar
  • 10 g sweet basil, cut into fine strips
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon of red curry paste
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • ½ tablespoon or 10 g palm sugar
  • 100 g mixed peppers, sliced
  • 1 chili, sliced
  • 10 g sweet basil


  1. To make the marinade, heat the coconut milk, red curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, sweet basil and egg in a pan. Season with the fish sauce and palm sugar and stir until the palm sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool.
  2. Once cooled, cut the hake into 4 fillets and cover fully with the marinade for 2 hours.
  3. Cut the banana leaves in half to measure 25 x 18 cm and steam them for 3 minutes to soften the leaves.
  4. Remove the fish from the marinade and place one fillet in the middle of two banana leaves, crossed, and wrap it well. Repeat for all.
  5. Steam the parcels for 5-8 minutes before placing them on a hot char-grill or heavy frying pan with a little oil until the banana leaves change colour slightly (be careful not to burn them).
  6. To make the sauce, bring a wok to a medium heat and add the oil with the red curry paste, cooking until fragrant.
  7. Pour in the coconut milk, bring to a simmer and add the kaffir lime leaves.
  8. Season with fish sauce and palm sugar, add the peppers and chillies.
  9. Just before serving, add the sweet basil.
  10. To serve, make a slit lengthways in the banana leaves, pour the sauce over the fish and serve with Thai jasmine rice. Do not eat the banana leaves, but do savour the wonderful flavour they give the fish.

Feeling inspired?

Sample delicious Thai and Vietnamese dishes at Saba during your next visit to Kildare Village.


Looking for more inspiration?

Read on for more recipes from around the Villages.