Mahi Mahi Wrapped in Banana Leaves with Vanilla Maple Shrimp and a Spicy Mango Sauce

Mahi Mahi Wrapped in Banana Leaves with Vanilla Maple Shrimp and a Spicy Mango Sauce

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Credit: Andy Bacigalupo, Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management Instructor, The Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center, Bay City, Mich.
Sizzle, Summer 2010


1 small fire-roasted red bell pepper
1 banana leaf, divided
4-5 shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed
6 oz. mahi mahi
1 T. pesto
4-5 drops lemon juice
4-5 drops lime juice
2 pinches chopped fresh ginger, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 shrimp, peeled, deveined
¼ vanilla bean
4-5 drops maple syrup
½ t. butter
½ oz. brandy
2-3 pieces red onion, julienne
2-3 pieces red bell pepper, julienne
2-3 pieces yellow bell pepper, julienne
2-3 pieces zucchini squash, julienne
2-3 pieces carrot, julienne
Olive oil or grapeseed oil, for sautéing
Pinch chopped fresh garlic
Spicy Mango Sauce (recipe follows)
1 lemon slice, for garnish
1 lime slice, for garnish
Fresh parsley, for garnish

Spicy Mango Sauce
1 ripe mango, peeled, seeds removed
4-5 drops sesame seed oil
1 t. lime juice
1 T. sugar
2 oz. coconut water (coconut juice) from cracked coconut. Save shell for serving spicy mango sauce
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ garlic clove, chopped
½ t. chopped cilantro
1 t. chopped roasted red pepper
3 thin mango slices, for garnish
1 vanilla bean, for garnish
1 sprig fresh cilantro, for garnish


1. Peel red bell pepper, remove seeds. Cut into squares; set aside.

2. Cut two 6-inch x 6-inch squares from 1 banana leaf. One will be for the mahi mahi and the other reserved for the shrimp.

3. Place square of roasted red pepper in middle of one banana leaf square.

4. Place whole shiitake mushrooms on top of pepper.

5. Brush mahi mahi with pesto; place on top of mushrooms. Season with lemon/lime juices, 1 pinch ginger, and salt and pepper, to taste.

6. Fold over sides of banana leaf, enclosing fish (similar to folding a burrito).

7. Place on baking sheet; bake at 400ºF for 10-12 minutes.

8. Place shrimp in middle of remaining banana leaf square.

9. Cut vanilla bean in half; scrape out inside. Mix small amount of vanilla paste scrapings with maple syrup.

10. Season shrimp with butter, brandy, garlic, remaining ginger and maple syrup/vanilla bean mix.

11. Fold sides of banana leaf over shrimp (similar to folding a burrito).

12. Place on sheet pan; bake at 400ºF for 6-7 minutes.

13. Remove shrimp from banana leaf.

14. Sauté red onion, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, zucchini squash and carrot in olive oil or grapeseed oil; cook al dente.

15. To Plate: Cut mahi mahi banana pouch in half; place on one half of plate, leaving banana leaf on fish for added presentation. Place 1½ oz. Spicy Mango Sauce on plate. Open shrimp pouch; place shrimp on sauce. Fan out al dente vegetables. Garnish with lemon and lime slices; sprinkle with parsley. Place coconut shell with additional Spicy Mango Sauce on side, if desired.

Chef’s Tips: I cook these two dishes separately because the time it takes to cook the mahi mahi and shrimp are different. Also, the banana leaves are extremely perishable, so make sure you use bright green leaves that are free of blemishes.

Spicy Mango Sauce
Method: Put mango, sesame seed oil, lime juice, sugar, coconut water, cayenne pepper and garlic in saucepan. Bring to a simmer; cook about 10 minutes. With electric hand mixer, mix until smooth. Garnish sauce with fine-chopped cilantro and brunoise roasted red pepper; simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve sauce on plate or in coconut shell half. Garnish with mango, vanilla bean and cilantro. Chef’s Tip: During preparation, taste sauce to measure flavor profiles until you achieve the sweet/tart taste you desire.

Sizzle - Summer 2010 Issue


1 serving


Main Dish, Seafood, Sizzle

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