If sealing fish in parchment paper before baking sounds too foreign to you, let me just say that it does have two huge advantages:
- Cleanup is a breeze. Cook the fish directly on a baking tray and you’ll still need to soak and scrub it after cooking even if you coat the tray with oil. But wrap the fish in parchment paper before laying on the tray and the tray doesn’t get all that soiled.
- Because the fish cooks in the steam that builds inside the parcel, the moisture gets trapped and that means more succulent fish flesh.
So, here’s how to cook fish en papillote. Of course, there are countless variations. You may use four smallish whole fish instead of four fillets. That should give you even better flavor because you’re cooking the fish with the bones. But if convenience is important to you, well, go for fillets.
You’ll need to season the fish at least two hours before cooking — longer if they are rather thick. I like lemon pepper seasoning but plain salt and pepper will do.
Now, wrap them up. Lay a piece of parchment paper (should be more than twice as large as the fish) on your work surface, place a seasoned fish on one side, top with garlic slices, lemon slices and fresh dill.
Then, wrap by folding the parchment paper over the fish, and twisting and crimping the edges. Repeat until all the fish had been wrapped. Then bake in a preheated oven.
You may serve your fish in the paper wrapper. Just slit the top to expose the fish and serve. Or you may unwrap the fish and serve on individual plates. Whichever option you choose, make sure that you serve the fish with all the liquid in the parcel. That is flavorful liquid and you definitely want it.
Baked fish with lemon and dill
- parchment paper cut into 15" x 15" pieces
- 4 fish fillets each about 250 grams
- 4 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 lemons cut into ¼-inch rings
- 4 sprigs dill
- cooked rice
- side salad
- Lay the fish fillets on a stack of paper towels. Top with another stack of paper towels then weigh down with a large plate or tray to remove surface moisture.
- Sprinkle both sides of the fish fillets with lemon pepper seasoning.
- Set the fish on a rack set over a tray and stick in the fridge for at least two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Take a sheet of parchment paper and place a fish fillet on one side near the center.
- Top the fish with garlic, lemon slices and dill.
- Fold over the paper to cover the fish then fold all sides by twisting and crimping to make sure that the fish is sealed thoroughly.
- Repeat until all fillets have been wrapped.
- Arrange the parcels on a baking tray and bake the fish for 15 minutes at 375F.
- Slit the top of the wrapper to expose the fish.
- Serve in the paper wrapper or transfer to plates.
- Best with rice and a simple side salad.