We're Nate Tate and Mary Kate Tate, a brother and sister cookbook author team obsessed with all things China. We create authentic and accessible Chinese recipes for home cooks. See more...

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Banana leaves 香蕉叶 (xiāng jiāo yè)

The large green leaves of the banana tree. They are used to wrap meats and seafood for grilling or steaming. The leaves add a hint of flavor and allow steam to penetrate the inside of the packet. After cooking, the packet is brought to the table and opened for a beautiful presentation, though the leaves are not eaten. Find fresh or frozen banana leaves at Asian or Latin grocery stores. Unused leaves can be refrozen. Substitute aluminum foil if you can’t find them.

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