Red Snapper en Banana Leaf by Chef Nyesha Arrington

Red Snapper en Banana Leaf by Chef Nyesha Arrington

Red Snapper en Banana Leaf by Chef Nyesha Arrington

Nyesha Arrington is a Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary chef who integrates worldwide flavors and techniques to create “food that hugs your soul.” She has been featured on Top Chef, Knife Fight, and Chef Hunter.


Whole red snapper
1 ea Scotch bonnet pepper (stems removed)
2 ea Garlic (cloves)
1/4 Green onion (roughly chopped)
1 tsp California chili powder
1/8 tsp Cinnamon powder
1/8 tsp Nutmeg powder
1/8 tsp Clove powder, or 2 cloves
1/4 tsp Allspice powder
1/4 tsp Red chili flakes
1/2 tsp Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Thyme, leaves
1/2 tsp Parsley, leaves
2 tsp + 1 tsp Himalayan salt (divided)
1 tsp Toasted black pepper
3 tbsp Coconut oil (divided)
1 ea Lime juice


In a food processor, pulse together the scotch bonnet pepper, garlic, California chili powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, clove, Allspice powder, red chili flakes, brown sugar, thyme, parsley, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and 3 tbsp coconut oil. Place the paste into a small bowl and set aside, preferably overnight.


Cut banana leaf into rectangular shape about 12 x 8 inches. Rub fish with 1 tsp of salt and lime juice and let stand for 15 minutes. To make the banana leaf more pliable, lightly toast over a low open flame for a few seconds. Brush oil on the lighter side of each leaf. Rub fish with jerk marinade and place fish onto the leaf. Wrap the fish in the banana leaf. Set aside.To cook the fish, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, and add a splash of coconut oil into the pan (about 2 tsp). Cook the fish covered on medium heat for 12 minutes on each side. Serve it hot
with lime slices.

Coconut Cauliflower Rice and Chickpeas (Side Dish)


3 cups Cauliflower (riced)
1 cup Lentils du puy (cooked)
1ea Red bell pepper (small, diced)
1ea Celery (stalked, small diced)
1 tbsp Ginger (finely chopped)
2 ea Cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tsp Turmeric (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
1/2 cup Organic coconut milk
1 tsp + 1tsp Himalayan salt (divided)
2 tsp Grapeseed oil
2 tbsp Lime juice and zest
Fresh herbs (chopped): mint, parsley, cilantro, basil


In a nonstick pan, heat grapeseed oil over med-high heat. Place the red bell pepper, celery, ginger, garlic and turmeric into the sauté pan and season with 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt. Turn heat to med-low and cook aromatics until fragrant (about 3 mins). Push sauteed aromatics to one side of the pan, add red pepper flakes and turn up the heat to med-high. Add “riced” cauliflower into the pan, mixing thoroughly and season with remaining salt. Add coconut milk and cook over medium heat until coconut milk is absorbed. Fold in cooked lentils and chopped fresh herbs. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice.

This article was originally published by Small Axe