Fish En Papillote, fish in paper, is a Mediterranean-style of baking fish with herbs, vegetables and a light sauce in paper to steam the flavors into a moist and tender fish.
Fish In Paper
While there are many ways to prepare and cook fish, none delights me more than Fish in Paper. There are so many reasons why I prefer this approach to my fish dinner:
- It can be prepped way ahead of time and cooked just when you are ready
- It steams the fish and all the flavors you hide inside the package, giving it a tender texture with essence of anything you want
- A complete dinner in a bag – so to speak – can be prepared and served in a single serving, or many
Wrapping fish in paper is not the only way to insure tender and moist fish baked inside. Many cultures wrap fish in a variety of things such as banana or grape leaves.
My British hubby grew up in boarding schools in Kenya (long story). He remembers watching the whole fish wrapped in a mound of salt, buried in a hole in the ground with a smoking fire.
The salt baked on around the fish like clay and when the salt was removed, the fish inside was moist and cooked with amazing flavor.
Mediterranean-Style Baked Fish
When I had the fabulous opportunity to bring my Mediterranean-Style cooking to a PBS program, that I was asked to be part of, I knew I had to showcase my favorite fish dish, Fish In A Fig Leaf. It was a hit!
Fig leaves are not always available to most people, even during the height of fig season, so I wanted to make this beautiful fish recipe that can easily be baked by anyone, any time of the year.
For this reason, I used parchment paper and love the results.
Baked Salmon In Paper
While any piece of filet of fish can be used in this recipe, it seems that salmon is most available to us, year-round.
A variety of vegetables can be sliced thin, layered on top of the fish and seasoned with drizzles of olive oil, squirts of lemon juice, even a splash of white wine.
The veggies used must be able to cook as fast as the fish does, in about 15 minutes. I chose bok chow, with citrus slices and finely chopped chives for this recipe but the possibilities are endless.
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale or chard cook beautifully in the time the fish bakes, as does thinly sliced tomatoes, zucchini or yellow squash.
- Salmon Filet
- Baby Bok Choy
- Olive oil
- Garlic salt
- Black pepper
- Baking sheet pan
- Parchment paper
- Small mixing bowl
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Small whisk
Mediterranean-Style Baked Fish In Paper
- Salmon Filet – 6 oz
- Baby Bok choy – 1 small bundle per filet
- Lemon – 1
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Garlic salt – 1/2 tsp
- Black Pepper – to taste
- Preheat oven to 375. Set out a baking sheet.
- Thinly slice half of the lemon into 6 very thin slices, or 3 slices cut in half. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, squeeze the juice from the remaining half of lemon into the bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and garlic salt. Set aside.
- Fold one whole sheet of parchment paper on half. Lay it opened on the work space.
- Trim the thick bottom from the bok choy. Lay the bok choy in the center of one half of the paper. Set the fish filet on top of the bok choy. Layer a few slices of lemon on top of the fish. Repeat this procedure with the second filet of fish and veggies.
- Drizzle the mixture of lemon and olive oil across the top of each filet of fish.
- Fold the parchment paper over to the other side, meeting the ends. Starting from one open end, make a triangle fold, then another fold next to the previous and so on until the entire open end of the paper has small folds, sealing the opening closed.
- Transfer each of the fish packages to the baking sheet and bake for about 20-minutes. If the fish is thicker than one inch, bake the bundle for 25-minutes, if it is thinner than one inch then bake for 15-minutes. Serve.