Grilled Fish with Herbs (Kachin name Nga ka-l)

Prepared by Lamung Yaw


  • 2k Whole Barramundi or snapper 
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 3 -4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ginger chopped
  • 8 chillies (medium-hot to taste)
  • 3-4 saw leaf (thorny coriander)
  • 150g of chopped mixed herbs – spearmint, false mint, basil leaves and coriander
  •  1 cube of dry stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 tsp of olive oil (optional)
  • Banana leaves or aluminium foil for wrapping


  1. Using mortar and pestle, crush  coriander seeds, garlic and salt.  
  2. Then add ginger, fresh chilies and  saw leaf and pound to a paste.
  3. With a sharp knife score the fish on each side, about 1 centimeter apart and ½ centimeter deep.
  4. Place the fish on banana leaves if available or aluminium foil.
  5. Squeeze the lemon juice over both sides of fish then rub the paste well into both sides and some inside the belly of the fish. 
  6. Sprinkle the dry stock across the fish
  7. Chop the remaining herbs and spread over the fish.
  8. Sprinkle with a little oil then wrap firmly in the banana leaves or foil to make a parcel.
  9. Cook one side for 15 minutes over the grill, or barbecue, then turn to other side and cook for another 15 minutes or it can be cooked in oven for 20 minutes
  10. Squeeze fresh lime/ lemon again prior to serve (option)

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