Spicy Ba­nana Leaf Stingray

Wine & Dine Cookbook - - ASIAN KITCHEN -

Serves 6 to 8 MEDIUM

With its rich spicy flavours, there’s plenty to like about this hawker BBQ clas­sic.

1 to 1.5kg stingray wings, cut into

4 pieces

1 tbsp tamarind pulp

4 pieces ba­nana leaf or bak­ing pa­per,

cut into 30-cm squares

4 green limes

For the sea­son­ing paste

10 to 12 dried chillies, cut into 2-cm lengths, soaked to soften, some seeds dis­carded to re­duce heat, al­ter­na­tively use

2 to 2½ tbsp chilli paste

4 cloves gar­lic, chopped

1 tbsp dried prawns, soaked to soften

1 tsp dried shrimp paste

2 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

60ml veg­etable oil

1. Place stingray pieces on a plate and rub with tamarind pulp, adding one to two tbsp of wa­ter. Set aside.

2. Pre­pare the sea­son­ing paste. Blend chillies, gar­lic, dried prawns, shrimp paste, sugar and salt in a blender or food pro­ces­sor to a smooth paste, adding a lit­tle oil if re­quired to keep the blades turn­ing.

3. Heat veg­etable oil in a wok and add the paste. Stir-fry over low–medium heat un­til fra­grant and well cooked, about 5 to 6 mins. Set aside to cool.

4. Rinse stingray pieces and pat dry with kitchen tow­els. Make a slit along the winged edge of each piece to cre­ate a pocket. Push some of the sea­son­ing paste into the slit and smear the rest on both sides of each piece of stingray. Soften the pieces of ba­nana leaf by hold­ing over a gas flame or soak­ing in boil­ing wa­ter un­til soft­ened. Place a piece of stingray onto each leaf and wrap firmly to en­close.

5. Heat a hot­plate or grid­dle, or a cast iron fry­ing pan. Place ba­nana leaf pack­ets on it and let it cook for 4 to 5 mins, then flip the pack­ets over and let it cook un­til the stingray is done, about 10 mins. Al­ter­na­tively, cook over a hot grill or un­der a broiler. Serve the fish on the ba­nana leaf ac­com­pa­nied by cut limes.

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