Taste of the Spice Isles - Chicken with Banana Leaves

Banana leaves are the organic and original version of aluminium foil. Not only that, they infuse the food you cook them with to give it clean and woody taste.

Everyone will be eager to see what you have put in their well-wrapped and seasoned parcels. Why not deviate from the norm and try out this delicious dish?


  • 4 single chicken breast fillets (680g)

  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh lemon grass

  • 2 red Thai chillies, chopped finely

  • ½ cup loosely packed, coarsely chopped fresh coriander

  • 1/3 cup (80ml) lime juice

  • 1 ½ tablespoon peanut oil

  • 1 large banana leaf

  • 300g snow peas, trimmed

  • ¼ cup (40g) roasted pine nuts


  • 1 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil

  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 2 teaspoons of thai sweet chilli sauce


Using sharp knife, make three shallow cuts on smooth side of each fillet.

Combine garlic, ginger, lemon grass, chilli, coriander, juice and oil in large bowl. Press spice mixture all over chicken, pressing firmly but gently into cuts. Cover; refrigerate while preparing banana leaf.

Cut banana leaf into four 30cm squares. Using tongs dip one square at a time into large saucepan of boiling water; remove immediately. Rinse under cold water; pat dry with absorbent paper. Leaves should be soft and pliable.

Centre each fillet on a banana leaf square. Fold leaf over fillet to enclose; secure each parcel with kitchen string. Place parcels in bamboo steamer over wok or large saucepan of boiling water; steam, covered, about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, boil steam or microwave snow peas in medium bowl with pine nuts; add dressing. Toss to combine; serve snow peas with chicken.

Dressing: combine ingredients in glass screw-top jar; shake well.