Grilled Snakehead Fish in Lolot Leaves (Cá Lóc Nướng Lá Lốt)

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Save Recipe grilled snakehead fish in lolot leaves
  • 2Servings
  • 30 mPrep Time
  • 10 mCook Time
  • 40 mReady In
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Lolot leaves (Piper lolot, Vietnamese: lá lốt) are leaves harvested from lolot plants (Piper lolot). These leaves are often confused with betel leaves. Many overseas Vietnamese often mistranslated as betel leaves (Vietnamese: lá trầu). Lotot leaves are much smaller than betel leaves, and have a sweet smell. Betel leaves have a pungent taste, and are often eaten with areca nuts. In fact, a lolot leaf looks more closer to a black pepper leaf.

This grill dish is based on another well-known dish bò nướng lá lốt (grilled beef in lolot leaves), which beef is wrapped like a cigar with lolot leaves. (Some overseas Vietnamese restaurants also translate the dish as “beef cigars”.). Now, instead of using beef, you use snakehead fish fillets instead.


Step by step method

  • Prepping the sneakhead fish

    Soak the fish fillets in salted water for about 5-10 mins, then drain. Cut into 1-inch pieces, and marinate with 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of minced shallots, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Toss the fish pieces up and let them marinated in 10 mins.

  • Wrapping fish cigars

    Cut off the leaf stems, wash and drain. Spread a leaf, put a fish piece on, then wrap the two edges, then roll. Finally, use a bamboo stick or skewer to grip the fish cigars.

  • Grilling

    On a barbecue grill, place the fish cigars on, and grill. Turn the fish rolls over sometimes so they won't get burnt. When the leaves get charred and become softened, the fish inside is cooked.

Tips & variations

  • The fish rolls can be served with "mắm nêm" fermented fish sauce, and fresh vegetables.

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