Instead of black bass, you can use cod, hake or another flakey white fish. Salmon also works well. If you cannot find cherrystone clams, use Manila clams or New Zealand cockles. Baking fish in foil has several advantages. It can be prepared ahead of time and there’s no pan to clean or fishy odor in the kitchen. You also have total control of the temperature of the fish. Kaffir lime leaves are available in Asian markets and some well-stocked supermarkets. Substitute with basil leaves or a little lime zest.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, lime juice and red pepper flakes; set aside
Place pieces of foil on a clean, dry surface and top each with a banana leaf.
Divide the fennel and celery into four equal portions and place one portion of each on each banana leaf. Place 1 bass filet, 3 clams and one-quarter of the kaffir lime leaves on the fennel and celery. Spoon the sauce over fish and vegetables.
Fold and crimp the edges of the foil to seal packets. Bake for 8–10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
Place each packet on a plate and serve. Be certain the clams are open before serving.
*To chiffonade is to cut into thin strips.