Traditional recipes

Fillet of Fish in Parchment

Fillet of Fish in Parchment

Making a parchment envelope in which to steam a fillet of fish surrounded by aromatic vegetables may sound a bit fancy for just one, but cooking in parchment is actually one of the simplest and most effective ways of steaming, because it seals in the flavors. Moreover, you’ll have no cleanup afterward; just wipe off the Silpat mat and throw away the parchment after you’ve scraped and scooped up every last delicious morsel and its jus. If you want just one meal out of this, get about a 6-ounce fillet of flounder, halibut, salmon, red snapper—whatever looks good. Or, as I did recently, try tilapia, which is quite readily available these days and at a reasonable price. But bought almost twice the amount I needed, so I could play with the other half of the cooked fillet a couple of days later. I learned from Katy Sparks, whose book, Sparks in the Kitchen, is full of great cooking tips from a chef to the home cook, the trick of pre-roasting several slices of new potato so they can go in the parchment package. This way you have a complete, balanced meal-in-one cooked all together.

Notes

Reprinted with permission from The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones, copyright © 2009. Published by Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Ingredients

  • Olive
  • 2-3 smallish new potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 6-ounce fillet of flounder, halibut, tilapia, salmon, or red snapper
  • 1/3 medium zucchini, peeled and cut into very thin julienne strips
  • 1 scallion, white and tender green parts only, cut into lengthwise strips
  • 3 slices fresh ginger, approximately the size of a quarter, peeled and cut into julienne strips
  • Dash of white wine
  • Pinch of fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, tarragon, or summary savory

Reynolds Kitchens tip

Reynolds Kitchens ® Unbleached Parchment Paper not only makes meal prep easy, but it's also totally chlorine free and made from 75% unbleached fibers.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 to
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 4 cod or red snapper fillets (4 to 6 oz. each)
  • 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, green) cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • Reynolds Kitchens® Unbleached Parchment Paper

White fish in Parchment Paper

Who doesn't like a good fish recipe?? I know I do! Specially when it's so easy to make, like this white fish in parchment paper.

The Inspiration for this white fish in parchment paper

This recipe was inspired by one of my visits to a great restaurant in São Paulo, called Bananeira (Banana tree). It's a wonderful restaurant, and well known in the area.

We are friends with Mauricio, the chef/owner of the restaurant, so we asked him if he would be willing to teach a group of women to make a special dish.

Mauricio not only accepted to teach us (about 20 women), but also invited us to learn in his own restaurant. What a blast we had!

He prepared refreshments, taught us 3 amazing recipes, and didn't charge a penny for that! It was all out of goodwill.

This reminded me that there are good people out there, that do good things without expecting anything in return.

In his restaurant there was a famous dish that consisted of a fish wrapped in banana leaf. He placed the fillet in the center of the leaf, seasoned, added a few vegetables and wrapped it like a little gift.

Well, since banana leaf is hard to find, he also taught us how to make it with parchment paper.

I'm sure the banana leaf gives a special touch to the recipe, but at least, the parchment paper helps with easy clean up.

Now, as I remembered that day, I tried really hard to find his recipe. I looked everywhere, but unfortunately, I think I lost it, because we've moved so many times.

Well. But I'm glad I remembered that day, because it inspired me to create my own version. It might not be the same, but I promise it is as delicious as the one I ate at his restaurant.


Recipe Summary

  • Zest from 2 limes, finely shredded
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 piece (2 inches) ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 mild to spicy red chiles, halved
  • 4 fillets (6 ounces each) black bass, halibut, or striped bass
  • 4 heads baby bok choy (or 1 large head, quartered)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 sprigs fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix lime zest and juice, garlic, ginger, onion, and chiles in a medium bowl. Fold four 20-inch pieces of parchment in half lengthwise. Unfold, and place 1 fillet and 1 head bok choy along each crease. Rub both with 2 tablespoons oil, and season with salt and pepper. Top each fillet with some onion mixture and 2 sprigs cilantro.

Fold parchment over fish, making small overlapping folds along edges and sealing with a paper clip. Place on rimmed baking sheets. Roast until parchment puffs, 10 to 12 minutes. Carefully cut packets, avoiding escaping steam, and serve.


Herb-Roasted Fish

Place the pieces of parchment paper on a flat surface, fold them in half crosswise, and cut each piece like a large paper heart cutout. Open the fold flat and place each fillet lengthwise just to the right of the fold. On each fillet, sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 2 sprigs of thyme, and place 2 olives alongside the fish.

Brush the edges of the entire parchment paper with the egg whites. Fold the left side of the parchment paper over the right side so the edges line up, creating a packet. Press the edges together to create a seal. Starting at the edge at the top of the heart, make overlapping folds in the parchment, until you reach the “tail” of the heart. Fold the last end underneath to seal the packet. Place all the packets on sheet pans, making sure the oil and lemon juice don’t run out when you transfer them. Bake for 15 minutes exactly. Place each packet on a dinner plate, cut an X in the middle with scissors, and serve hot, allowing each person to tear open the packet.

make it ahead: Prepare the packages and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bake before serving.

Copyright 2012, Make It Ahead, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved.


  • Two 16-inch parchment paper sheets (or tin foil)
  • Rosemary sprigs (or cilantro or parsley or thyme)
  • One 5-6 ounce skinless fish fillet
  • Diced zucchini
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Artichoke hearts (canned) quartered
  • Dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Lay one parchment paper over another, long side of the paper horizontal. Lay herb sprigs in middle of the parchment. Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Lay fish on top of the herb sprigs.
  • Spoon the zucchini, tomatoes and artichoke hears over the fish. Season the vegetables with a pinch more of salt and pepper. Pour the white wine over everything.
  • Seal the packet closed by rolling and crimping the long sides together over the fish and vegetables. Then roll and crimp the ends closed so no steam can escape. Place on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, until fish cooked through. Timing depends on thickness of fish. 10 minutes for 1/2-inch fillet 15 minutes for 1-inch fillet.
  • If you are cooking more than one packet, add another minute to cooking time for each additional packet. Just before serving, carefully open the packet (hot steam!) add just a squeeze of lemon juice over everything.


Mediterranean Fish in Parchment recipe

You see that beautiful piece of fish down there? That is my idea of a perfect dinner — simple, healthy, light, delicious, seasonal, easy-to-make. If my family didn’t thrive on an ever-changing dinner menu, I would love to eat this twice a week with a fresh salad and a glass of rosé. Perfect.

Fish in parchment is easier than it looks and one of the most healthful ways to cook fish. I have taught and posted two other fish in parchment recipes which you may have tried, one with cilantro and ginger and the second with summer herbs. Both are delicious and perfect when you want something light in the summer.

The basic idea when you’re cooking in parchment, is to use ingredients that all cook pretty quickly and at the same rate. Make sure that parchment is tightly sealed and you’ll create a little steam oven in that packet. I always make sure the fish is well-seasoned with salt and pepper and that I add a smidge of fat, either butter or olive oil for flavor, and then there are lots of possibilities.

Once I see those first local tomatoes at the farmers market, I start going a little tomato-crazy. I especially love cherry tomatoes because they are always so sweet. In this recipe, you can’t beat the combination with the sautéed garlic, salty capers and olives and zingy white wine. I would eat this with a simple rice pilaf or quinoa salad or a raw zucchini salad. My family would probably love a little pasta with pesto to go with it.

I have taught this recipe in my cooking classes many, many times and sometimes I added some raw baby spinach leaves under the fish. The spinach wilts beautifully and tastes delicious with all the other ingredients. Shaved zucchini slices would also be perfect, but you could also add vegetables to the packet like blanched (not raw) green beans or slivers of roasted peppers.

Of course, if there are ingredients in the recipe you don’t care for, feel free to omit. After I finish going over a recipe in my class, I take a few minutes to talk about substitutions. Questions about how to change the recipe are the most common questions that come up — how do I make this gluten-free? My husband won’t eat anything with onion. I hate olives. Etc, etc. I give you permission to take out the olives if you want.


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Please Note Temporary Updated Hours for The Following Service Bars:
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Temporary Updated Hours for The Following Service Bars:
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700 Paramus Park
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(201) 649-0888
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Saturday 5/29 7am - 9pm
Sunday 5/30 7am - 9pm
Monday 6/1 7am - 9pm

Senior Hours 7am-8am
If you are under 60 or in good health, please wait until regular store opening times listed below before coming to shop at Stew’s.

Please Note Temporary Updated Hours for The Following Service Bars:
Meat- Everyday 8-8
Fish- Everyday 8-8
Deli- Everyday 8-8
Photo Cakes: Everyday 8-7
Ice Cream: Everyday 8-9
Coffee: Everyday 8-9
BBQ: Everyday11-8
Pizza: Everyday 11-8
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Wine Store
Monday - Saturday 9am-9pm
Sunday Noon-9pm

Full Paramus location details

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(914) 375-4700
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Friday 5/28 7am - 9pm
Saturday 5/29 7am - 9pm
Sunday 5/30 7am - 9pm
Monday 6/1 7am - 9pm

Please Note Temporary Updated Hours for The Following Service Bars:
Deli- Everyday 8-9
Seafood- Everyday 8-9
Meat- Everyday 8-9
Photo Cakes: Everyday 8-9
Ice Cream: Everyday 8-9


How to make fish in parchment

Cooking fish in parchment or foil packets is an easy, no-mess way to bake fish. The process seals in moisture so it works well for almost any kind of fish.

Add flavorful ingredients to a bowl. I&rsquom using fresh grape tomatoes, olives, fresh parsley, lemon, and garlic.

Lemon juice acts as a marinade along with the garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Crushed red pepper flakes would be another good addition if you have some in the pantry.

Pat the fish fillets dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Though there&rsquos lots of flavor in the vegetable mixture, the fish is bland on its own and will benefit from a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Seal the packets. To do this, you&rsquoll need 4 long pieces of parchment paper. (See the photo below)

Simply add the fish to the packet along with the vegetables. I prefer adding the vegetables on top of the fish so the flavors cook into the fish. It also adds more color.

Bake the fish packets on a sheet pan in a preheated 375-degree oven.


Tilapia en Papillote

I learned how to make this romantic recipe for baked tilapia en papillote in culinary school a few years ago. The fancy shmancy name threw me into fits of hysteria (yes, I can be a teensy bit overly dramatic at times), because I thought fancy shmancy meant “difficult to make”. Turns out, I was incredibly wrong!

En papillote is a simple French term that means “in parchment”. Tilapia for two (fresh or thawed from frozen will work), seasoned with herbs, butter and lemon, then baked to perfection inside of a heart-shaped piece of parchment paper. Healthy, beautiful, delicious, and romantic… grab your apron and I’ll show you how easy this is to make!

lemongrass, or dill are used to flavor fish, but I really love the flavor of rosemary, and besides that, it makes a gorgeous garnish. By wrapping the fish up inside of parchment paper, you’re effectively steaming it in its own juices. Add a little melted butter and fresh herbs, and you’ve got a party goin’ on! Besides a small pinch of sea salt, there isn’t much more that needs to be added. Of course, it shouldn’t stop you from creating a great veggie ensemble inside that packet of love. Toss in some asparagus spears, zucchini, sliced cherry tomatoes, onions, or anything else that your stomach is hungry for. You’ll end up with a heart shaped packet of love!

To make the parchment packet, we need to whirl back in time to elementary school. Remember those Valentine’s Day cards you made in art class? Same technique applies here. Fold a piece of parchment paper in half, but rather than cutting a nice curved edge, cut it slightly angled. That way the edges will seal up more easily for you.

Next, lay slices of lemon on one side of the parchment paper. Be sure to leave room around the edges so that you can fold everything up into a nice tight package. Rub both sides of the fish with softened herb butter, set it on top of the lemon slices, and add fresh herbs of your choice on top. If you want to add raw veggies to your packet, now would be the time. Then, fold the parchment paper together again and starting at the pointed bottom, start making small folds all the way up and around the edges of the packet.

Place the packet on a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. The easiest (and prettiest) way to serve them is to place the entire sealed packet on a dinner plate and let each person use a knife to slice the top of their packet open. What they’ll find inside is delicious, romantic food love!

If you’d like to make a romantic dessert to go with your tilapia dinner, I suggest my double chocolate raspberry cheesecake tart. If you’re trying to keep things healthier, then go with my chocolate cherry cheesecake bites. Smaller portion sizes for the big win (and no double chin!)