Recipe reprinted by permission from Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen by Martin Morales, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
This traditional dish, known as patarashca and originating from Peru’s Amazon region, is best barbecued outdoors over hot embers. If that isn't possible, a griddle pan can be used instead.
4 small- to medium-sized white fish such as sea bream or sea bass, scaled, gutted and cleaned
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 red onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 amarillo chilies, finely chopped
1 small bunch of coriander, leaves finely chopped
4 banana leaves, for wrapping
Using a knife, score shallow slits into the skin on both sides of the fish. Season the fish inside and out with salt, pepper and cumin.
Mix onions, garlic, chilies and coriander in a bowl, then rub onto the sides and inside cavities of fish. Drizzle a teaspoon of vegetable oil over each fish and wrap in a banana leaf and secure with a string or a skewer.
Heat barbecue or griddle pan. When hot, place the parcels on hot coals or in the pan and cook for 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through but still moist. Serve with boiled or fried cassava.