A popular dish from the island of Bali is PEPESAN BE PASIH or PEPES IKA, in other words STEAMED FISH IN BANANA LEAVES. This is a great recipe for grilling during a backyard party or a cookout. It is healthy and caters to the palates of non meat eaters. Fresh banana leaves are available at farmers markets and Asian grocery stores. Enjoy it this Labor day or throughout the year!

tuna in leaf

Steamed Tuna in Banana Leaves Recipe (Serves 4-6)


  • ½ kilo of tuna
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 cup of lemon basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of base gede, basic yellow sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 paged-sized pieces of banana leaf, or aluminum foil
  • 1 large slice of lemon
  • 6 toothpicks


  • Slice the tuna into 1 centimeter sized cubes. Dice the tomato.
  • Roughly mix tuna, tomato, lemon basil, base gede, salt and pepper and squeeze the lemon over the mixture.
  • Place two tablespoons of the mixture onto a banana leaf and roll until the mixture is completely wrapped. Take a toothpick and fasten it to each end of the package.
  • Steam the packages for ten minutes. The dish can now be served, or you can grill the packages for about three minutes, until the banana leaf darkens, before serving.

~ Recipe courtesy of Paon Bali Cooking School in Bali, Indonesia. 

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