Fish cooked en papillote or “in paper” is as easy to make as it is to clean up. Because the fish is cooked with aromatic ingredients all wrapped together inside parchment paper or foil, it cooks by steam staying moist, juicy and flavorful. You can open the parcels at the table for a dramatic reveal. Just take care since the steam that emerges will be super hot. This recipe won’t leave you with a dirty pan, simply toss the paper and enjoy!
The first time I made this recipe I used banana leaves to wrap the parcels. Our next door neighbor had a gorgeous banana tree on the edge of their property whose beautiful large leaves grew over our fence. I never ate the bananas, but I harvested the leaves a few times to make fish en papillote just like they do in Costa Rica. When our neighbors sold their home and the buyer cut down the banana tree, I mourned its loss. Whenever I make this recipe I think of that tree.
- 4 Servings
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Calories: 246
- 4 5-oz pieces halibut or other white fish
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 medium tomato
- 8 leaves basil, fresh
- 1 lemon, juice from
- 8 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees on convection bake setting.
To prepare vegetables, after washing, slice zucchini, fennel and celery into thin strips, approximately 3-inches in length. Slice tomato into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place sliced vegetables in a medium size bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon, drizzle 4 teaspoons olive oil, and add half of the salt and pepper to the vegetables and stir to evenly distribute.
Stack four pieces of parchment paper on your work surface. Place a portion of vegetable (about 1 cup serving) in the center of the paper. Top with 2 basil leave and a piece of fish. Squeeze additional lemon juice and drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil plus a dash of salt and pepper to the fish. Wrap the fish and vegetables up in a sheet of parchment paper, folding each side over the center to form a small package. Crease the edges to seal well.
Repeat the previous step for each additional parcel of fish and vegetables.
Place all parcels onto a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes.
When serving, be careful when opening the parchment paper as very hot steam will emerge.