On to the recipe... it was really good. However, as you probably guessed from what I said about the red chillies I used, it was very spicy. I'd definitely try this recipe again. Perhaps next time, the red chillies will be milder. I adapted the recipe from Rasa Malaysia.
1 lb. red snapper (cleaned and scales removed)
A few sheets banana leaf (rinsed with water thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels)
Grilled Fish Sambal:
6 oz. fresh red chilies (seeded and cut into small pieces. Please wear gloves here!)
1 tablespoon toasted belacan (Malaysian shrimp paste)
4 oz. shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
1/2 lime (extract juice)
2 lemongrass (cut into thin slices)
4 tablespoons oil
Grilled Fish Sambal
1) Prepare the sambal by grinding chilies, shallots, belacan and lemongrass in a food processor. Make sure the sambal paste is well blended and smooth.
2) Heat up oil in a wok and “tumis” (stir-fry) the sambal paste until aromatic or when the oil separates from the sambal paste. Add the seasonings: salt, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice and do a quick stir, dish out and set aside.
Grilled Fish with Banana Leaf
1) Grease a flat pan and then lay a few sheets of banana leaves in the pan.
2) Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil on top of the banana leaves and spread the oil evenly. Lay the fish on top of the banana leaves and add 3 tablespoons of sambal on top of the fish. Heat up the pan on your stove top over medium heat and cover it with a lid. (Use a towel to cover the corners of the pan in case the lid is too small to completely cover the pan. This will ensure the heat traps inside the pan during the grilling process.) Wait for 8 minutes or so and flip the fish over to the other side. Add 3 more tablespoons of sambal on the other side. Cook for another 8 minutes or so. By then, you can smell the sweet aroma of burnt banana leaves and grilled fish.
3) Dish out and serve immediately.