Braised Malaysian Chicken in Banana Leaf with Coconut Rice and Aromatic Vegetables

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  • Marinade & Chicken
  • 4 chicken legs and thighs, boned and butterflied
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup oyster sauce
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger root
  • 10 shallots, minced
  • 3 tablespoons hot chile paste
  • Coconut Rice
  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Assembly
  • 4 banana leaves, 12-inch by 12-inch
  • Blanched and seasoned vegetable(s) of choice, or vegetable ragout
  • Oil, for twine
  • ¼ cup tamarind sauce

“I love the smokiness that comes from charring banana leaves on the grill and then roasting them in the oven—it reminds me of street food in Southeast Asia. We marinate our chicken for 72 hours to add more dimension to the dish. For the vegetable, we make a ragout by cooking down 10 different vegetables in one pot with tomatoes and tom yum, an aromatic shrimp broth made with frozen shells, galangal, lemongrass, Thai basil, garlic, and ginger.”

—Chef Ravi Narayanan of Crossroads, Washington

Marinade & Chicken

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
  3. Add chicken; cover and refrigerate for 24 to 72 hours.
  4. Drain chicken; roast in a 375°F oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes.  

Coconut Rice

  1. In a large pot, bring all ingredients to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat; simmer on medium-low until rice has absorbed liquid, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Serve immediately or spread rice onto a sheet tray and refrigerate until needed.


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Lay banana leaves flat on a working surface.
  3. Divide chicken pieces evenly among leaves.
  4. Top each with 3 tablespoons rice and 3 tablespoons vegetable.
  5. Wrap up leaves as if making egg rolls or a burrito; secure with butcher twine soaked in oil for 3 minutes.
  6. Over medium-high heat, grill banana leaf rolls until marked, about 3 minutes per side.
  7. Transfer to oven; roast until chicken is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
  8. Remove rolls from oven. When cool enough to handle, cut string and gently open parcel. Top with 2 tablespoons tamarind sauce.