Quick, Tasty Fish and Seafood Holiday Recipes

This week I thought I’d put together a few quick, tasty fish and seafood recipe ideas for you to enjoy with friends and family over the Easter and Passover holidays – plantainwrapped snapper, with coconut sticky rice and cucumber escabeche.

The recipes put a tropical twist on something very local, and stay in line with religious observances during the holidays.

Plantain-Wrapped Snapper
(serves 4)

  •  1.5 lbs of snapper fillets, skinless, 4-5oz pieces
  • 1 lemon grass stalk (crushed and chopped into 2-inch segments to release flavors and aroma)
  • 4-5  whole basil leaves
  • ground white pepper to taste
  • few slices of ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves finely minced
  • green onions or regular chives
  • juice from one lime
  • 2 large fresh banana leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Wash and cut banana leaves to desired size.
  3. Place one banana leaf on the counter and place the fish in the center of the leaf.
  4. Top fish with garlic, ginger, green onion, lemon grass, basil leaf and a squeeze of a fresh lime. Wrap the fish in the fresh banana leaf.
  5.  Start on one end and fold banana leaf over fish. Then fold in the ends on either side and continue to wrap so the end product is flat using 4 folds only.
  6. Place the fish into a slightly greased baking dish, and bake for about 10-12 minutes or just until fish is light and flakes easily with fork.

Nutritional Information:  Calories: 246; saturated fat: 0.7g; monounsaturated fat: 1.4g; polyunsaturated fat: 1.2g; protein: 37.3g; carbohydrate: 14.9g; fiber: 2.9g cholesterol: 63mg; sodium: 238mg

Coconut Rice
(serves 4)

  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup sweetened coconut, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk


  1. To prepare coconut rice, combine rice, coconut, salt, and coconut milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring once.
  2. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat; cover  and let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Fluff with a fork; keep warm.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 108; fat: 5.3g; saturated fat: 3.4g; monounsaturated fat: 1.3g; polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g; protein: 2.9g;  carbohydrate: 24.2g; fiber: 0.9g; cholesterol: 1mg;  Sodium: 185mg

Cucumber Escabeche
(serves 8)


  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine radishes, red onion slices, cilantro and cucumbers in a large bowl.
  2. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepperand pour over cucumber mixture; toss well to coat.
  3. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Nutritional Information:  Calories: 33; fat: 1.8g;  saturated fat: 0.3g; monounsaturated fat: 1.2g; polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g;  protein: 0.8g; carbohydrate: 4.3g; fiber: 0.9g; cholesterol: 0.0mg; sodium: 156mg


Chef RichardChef Richard Plasencia, executive chef at South Miami Hospital, joined Baptist Health South Florida in 2011 for the
opening of West Kendall Baptist Hospital. He is an award-winning chef who is passionate about creating and sharing fresh local and seasonal recipes seasoned with flavor and good health. In addition to an interest in nutrition, Chef Richard has an extensive history in the hospitality industry.

He served as Chef at Town Kitchen & Bar, Jake’s, the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, the Shore Club, Por Fin, and the Conrad Hotel. He also was part of several teams that received the Mobile 4 and 5 star awards, as well as Cioppino being named to America’s Top 50 restaurants by Esquire Magazine 2005, during his time at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. Chef Richard Plasencia graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor of Science in culinary arts.

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