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Halibut Steamed in Banana Leaves with Orange-Pineapple Relish

Serves: Makes 4 servings


  • 1½ cups fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons pasilla chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili de arbol powder
  • 4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets, skinned
  • 4 banana leaves, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Orange-Pineapple Relish, recipe follows

  • Orange-Pineapple Relish:
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili de arbol powder
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into small dice
  • 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Banana leaves keep the tender citrus-marinated fish moist while imparting a delicate flavor.

Orange-Pineapple Relish: Whisk together the lime juice, orange juice, chile de arbol, honey, and oil in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Halibut:Whisk together juices, oil, and chili powders in a medium baking dish. Add the halibut and turn to coat. Marinate for 15 minutes while making the relish.

Remove the banana leaves from the water and shake off excess water. Place the leaves on a flat surface. Remove the halibut from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Place one fillet in the center of each leaf. Wrap the banana leaf loosely around each fillet. Place the packets flat in the basket of a bamboo steamer and place over a pot of simmering water. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until just cooked through.

Carefully remove packets from the steamer and open. Serve the fish in the banana leaf and top with the Orange-Pineapple Relish (see below). Add a side of sautéd spinach or kale, if desired.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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