Spices and Seasons – Fish Wrapped in Grape Leaves


IMG_0865My mother usually visits us in summer from India, and one of the highlights of her trip is for me to share new seasonal recipes with her and of course re-work and perfect traditional favorites. In fact, about three year back when I was working on the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles, I had put mom to very hard work testing and reworking the recipes, hopefully all for a good cause. So, this week’s recipe was something my son and I created just for mom, using the grape leaves that are found in complete abundance in our yard. My son loves my dolmas or stuffed grape leaves, and I shall share my recipe for those on a different day, today I wanted something less fussy and quick cooking. Also, wrapping finish and cooking them it banana leaves is a common thing for me growing up, I wanted to give the grape leaves a try as I want to find a local alternative to this method of cooking.

IMG_0862The recipe here is relatively effortless, I used a lime, garlic chive and tangerine marinade, and finished with a lemon and red onion sauce. The fish turned of too be incredibly moist and flavorful. I however will confess, that even the 7 to 8 minutes of grilling was a little bit too much on a super hot day. However the reward for my braving the heat was a very satisfied family. Simple, easy and elegant, this dish will definitely be a frequent visitor on my table. Once you try this very easy recipe, you will realize why.


Spices and Seasons – Fish Wrapped in Grape Leaves

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

A simple and very easy preparation of fish baked in grape leaves, resulting in a very flavorful and elegant recipe.


  • 2 pounds salmon or halibut fillet
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic chives
  • 2 medium oranges or tangerines, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 15 large fresh grape leaves (see note for canned variety)
  • Finishing Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium sized red onion, diced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut the fish into 12 11/2 inch pieces.
  2. Toss with olive oil, garlic chives, tangerine, salt and the brown sugar.
  3. To prepare the grape leaves place in boiling water for 1 or 2 minutes to soften.
  4. Spread out on a place and place a piece of salmon with the marinade and carefully wrap and tuck the edges to form a secure package.
  5. Set this aside for at least 30 minutes or a few hours.
  6. To complete, place on a grill for 6 to 8 minutes, alternately bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  7. To finish, heat the butter and add in the red onion and saute lightly for about 5 to 6 minutes, until softened.
  8. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add in the water and salt and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  9. Pour this over the salmon, carefully remove the wrappers and serve.


If you wish you can use canned grape leaves, but they need to be carefully washed before using.



About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.

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