I can’t recall when or where the first time I had fish en papillote was. But, it’s a dish that stuck out in my mind because of its presentation and ingenuity. It’s not only a healthy way to cook your fish, since the fish steams inside the parchment paper, but it’s also super fancayyy! It’s the type of thing you’d want to serve your guests, if you were having a dinner party! There’s just something so adorable about receiving your own little parcel on a plate, and then opening it up to a surprise of perfectly steamed fish! It’s also an interactive element for your guests, which is always fun.
Turns out, fish en papillote is incredibly easy to make at home, and it’s pretty low maintenance too. It involves little prep at the beginning, and once the fish en papillote is in the oven, you don’t need to flip the fish or do anything else. The sky is the limit in terms of the type of fish you decide on, what flavours you choose, or what vegetables you want to put inside the pouches. You could go very traditional with lemon, dill, butter, salt and pepper, or get a little more imaginative with your flavours. I decided to use fennel and orange for my version of fish en papillote because fennel and orange pair well together, and adding the fennel right into the parcels allowed me to bake my side dish along with the fish, for a complete meal.
The hardest part about making fish en papillote at home is getting the technique right. Not gonna lie, the first time I attempted to do this at home, I just cut the parchment paper in regular squares and then tried to wrap the packets up – awkwardly folding the parchment on all sides. It still worked out, but the fish en papillote looked nothing like what I’d had in restaurants! I later googled the correct technique and it was a world of difference. So, I’ve decided to share the correct technique with you in the video I made for this recipe below!
Here is the recipe: