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With generous seasoning and fresh summer herbs, Nyesha Arrington shows you how to perfectly flavor your fish for the ultimate summer meal.

Salt-Encrusted Snapper Wrapped in Banana Leaf
Servings:

serving time6

Ingredients

  • 2 (1 1/2-pound) snappers, scaled and cleaned

  • Banana leaves, trimmed

  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme

  • 3 stalks lemongrass, sliced thin

  • 3-inch piece of ginger, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

  • 6 bay leaves

  • 1 head of garlic, chopped

  • 2 quarts Morton® Kosher Salt

  • Olive oil, for drizzling

  • 1/2 teaspoon Morton® Coarse Sea Salt

  • For the shishito peppers:

  • 1 pound Shishito peppers

  • Olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon Morton® Fine Sea Salt

  • 2 limes

Instructions

  1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Lay down banana leaves.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together thyme sprigs, sliced lemongrass, sliced ginger, bay leaves and garlic.

  3. In another bowl, mix together Morton® Kosher Salt with 1/2 cup of water until it resembles moist sand. Add half the thyme mixture.

  4. Place snapper on prepared banana leaves and fill with remaining thyme mixture. Gently wrap the banana leaves around each fish to create a pouch, securing with toothpicks.

  5. Cover fish with the aromatic salt mixture, lightly packing it to completely cover the fish.

  6. Grill fish in banana leaf packages for 15 to 20 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 135 degrees. Remove from the grill and let stand for 5 minutes.

  7. Carefully crack the top salt crust with a spoon and discard.

  8. Using a fish spatula, carefully transfer the top fillet to a platter. Flip the fish over and repeat the process. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Morton® Coarse Sea Salt. Serve warm with grilled Shishito peppers.

  9. Shishito Peppers:

  10. Preheat a grill to 450°F.

  11. In a bowl, toss together shishito peppers, olive oil and salt. Place on the grill and char until blistered. Remove from heat and serve hot with a drizzle of fresh lime juice and fresh lime zest.

  12. Finish with Morton® Coarse Sea Salt.

Salt-Encrusted Snapper Wrapped in Banana Leaf
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Transcript

- Hello, I'm chef Nyesha Arrington and today, I've partnered with Morton Salt to bring you Thai snapper and grilled shishito peppers. We're going to grill a fish in banana leaf today with Morton Salt, really really delicious. Love to sort of season the salt with garlic and ginger, lemongrass. Amazing aromatics that come to life on the grill. Totally fine to leave all the skins on, it's actually just going to act as a protective barrier with Morton's Salt to sort of perfuming the fish. Some will go inside the fish and some will make this amazing salt crust. Add our salt. You want a pretty liberal amount. We're gonna make this kind of wet sand mixture. I'm using the Morton Kosher Salt because I love the texture of this salt. It has an amazing sort of melt point to it when you add the liquid and it's not too fine. This salt is going to be amazing. You want this wet sand mixture, texture and feel because what's gonna happen as the salt heats it's gonna create this clay mortar, if you will over the fish and allow the fish to really steam and perfume with all of the aromatics. So what we're doing is kind of piggy-backing flavors. We're going to place our banana leaf down. You can get banana leaf at any sort of Thai market, or Mexican market, they are very inexpensive. Today, we're using Thai snapper, but you can use any fish really. Preferably whole, the bones are gonna add amazing flavor and depth. Then, we're just going to fill with some ginger, some thyme, some lemongrass. We also want to make sure that we season the cavity of the fish, very important. Always want to layer the flavors. Always seasoning as you go. You can also add a few slits if you wanna pre-portion. To wrap the fish, I tend to put it towards this sort of end of the banana leaf and you just create an envelope. So, a few things are gonna happen: the banana leaf is gonna protect the fish and allow it to sort of steam, when we add our salt pack to it. You can just place this on a sheet pan. This is kinda the fun part, actually. I'd like to lay the bigger pieces of aromatics down over the top. So we take our wet sand salt mixture, now we're gonna pack this over and it'll stick together so easy, fun, simple, delicious. I love to cook fish like this and it's a great way to entertain. So pretty, so delicious, this is gonna create a salt crust. Then it's fun, you can sort of chip away at it. It looks like an amazing mosaic of deliciousness. We're gonna place this on the grill. We're gonna place on a sheet pan lined with foil just to allow maneuverability, really easy. Depending on the size of the fish and how long your grill's pre-heating, about a one-and-a-half pound fish is gonna take 15, 17 minutes and you wanna preheat it to about 425 degrees. Fish is cooking, smelling amazing. We're going to start a side dish, or accoutrement. These amazing shishito peppers. Super super simple, literally just oil and salt. I love to use the Morton Fine Sea Salt, it's really amazing, it sticks onto the food. I like to use this when frying, when grilling and those just go onto the grill. Really just want to blister them. Add a little bit more fine sea salt. So we're just gonna close the grill, allow these to sort of steam and cook right next to our fish. Banana leaf, I'm gonna place down over the center of the plate so our fish can rest on that. I like to put a little bit of olive oil or oil on it just to make it beautiful and shiny. Just going to pull the shishito peppers off the grill. Peppers are charred, delicious, smell amazing. I'm just going to add a little bit of finishing of sea salt over the top and a little bit of lime zest, a beautiful way to use the entire fruit. Believe our fish is done; yes, looks amazing. Just by looking at it, I mean you'll see the salt will definitely have formed this crust. Now the fun part, smells amazing. Steam is coming out, the fish is definitely cooked through. The aromatics are nice and wilted, they've had a chance to permeate the fish and steam and become very delicious. You can use any aromatics, really. You can totally switch up. So we pulled away the banana leaf, it's steaming, delicious, it smells amazing, now we'll just use some of the banana leaf to present the fish. We'll finish with a little bit of lime juice because I love acid with fish. I have amazing fennel pollen here, so I'm going to use that. Fresh herbs are always nice as background flavor. There's a little bit of Thai basil. And our amazing shishito peppers. These just have some of the fine sea salt, a little bit of lime zest. Really perfect summer grilling, takes no time at all. Our delicious Thai snapper has a little bit of the Morton Coarse Sea Salt, we're gonna finish with some olive oil. And my favorite part, oh my gosh, it's perfect, absolutely moist and amazing, phenomenal. I really hope you guys try this recipe. It's super simple; a few steps, some amazing salt, and great for summer entertaining.