Spicy Banana Leaf Stingray
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
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.