Cooking Made Easy: Fish en Papillote Recipe for Beginners


In this episode, Chef Jayson will guide you through the process of creating fish en papillote. A classic French technique that involves sealing fish and its accompanying ingredients in parchment paper, allowing it to steam and infuse all the flavors together. Join us on this culinary adventure, combining the flavors of perfectly steamed fish, aromatic spices, and fresh vegetables.


0:00 Fish en Papillote
0:50 Ingredients
2:12 Preparing Dish
5:09 Acid and Fat
6:31 How to Fold Paper


Welcome to Lynette’s Kitchen, making lunch for Lynette. And I’m doing a fish en papillote. I know I butchered that pronunciation, but it’s basically a fish in paper, parchment paper. Use the parchment paper to seal it in and it slowly steams itself. So the idea is to put a vegetable down. You can put your fish right on top of that. You can put your spices and a few other things. I’m gonna show you how and you can throw it in the fridge for a day. So if you want to prep it the day before, all you gotta do is throw it in the oven, 15 minutes at 3 75, and you’ve got like perfectly steamed fish. It doesn’t dry out. It’s pretty hard to overcook it. And it can sit there for another 10 or 15 minutes slowly steaming itself while you’re getting everything else ready.

So I’m gonna start off getting introducing all these different components. We’ve got bok choy we’re gonna do. I guess I should start. We’re gonna do a Curry Sablefish, or Sablefish is also known as Black cod. It’s the restaurant name. There’s a lot of restaurant names for fish, like Chilean Sea Baths is actually, I think, spiny tooth fish. And does it sound too good on a menu. So black cod, this is caught in Alaska. You can see that’s why they call it black cod. It’s got a nice black skin there. And I’m gonna portion this into three pieces. This is just over a pound, so we want about five to six ounce portions. So I’m gonna cut this one and then we’ll set it aside.

Those are probably about good, just like that. Cool. So we’ll set these over here and let’s get to work on the rest of it. Really all we gotta do is get our bok choy ready and spice up our fish and then we can put it together. So what’s cool is this takes like five or six minutes to put together real seriously. And the only hard part is learning how to fold the paper so it seals up properly. And I’m gonna teach you how to do that.

So we’ve got our bok choy. We’re gonna open a couple up, and we’re gonna take off the majority of that stem down there. I don’t really want to eat that. And now that we’ve got this kind of leafed up, we’re going to start layering over here. And this is just creating a bed that we can put our fish on. And as this heats up the water from the bak choy helps steam the fish as well. So that’s about, don’t, don’t force it. You don’t want to over pack these. I think we can maybe put a couple more little guys on there. And then we are going to use toum. Toum is a Middle Eastern garlic sauce. And I made this for lavash wraps the other day. And so I’m just, it’s garlic, olive oil lemon juice and salt. That’s it. So this is perfect. I’m gonna use this to season the bok choy. And remember, as this heats up, it’s gonna liquefy a little bit and start seeping down in there. And then of course we gotta salt everything. Put a little around the edge. There we go. Oh, kind of messed that up. There we go. All right, now let’s grab our piece of fish. Yeah, we’ll salt it up. And then I made this spice mix. This is half a teaspoon each of curry powder, coriander powder, and black pepper. So we’ll just shake that up and just right over the top of it. You wanna rub that spice in there, make sure it’s a nice even coating. Get a little extra there. And we’re gonna put that fish boop, right on top of all that bok choy. All right.

Now, we’re gonna add our mushrooms. These are baby shiitakes. I’m just gonna put these around the edge right up front. Again, the mushrooms are gonna help steam everything here. And mushrooms, garlic, bok, choy, curry, all these things are wonderful together.

Next we’re gonna for our acid element. You always want to add an acid. I think the most famous version of this is like a Dijon with dill and lemons. You always see that combination cuz it’s an awesome combination. And so you’ll see them do the fish and a little layer of Dijon and then some lemons and dill over the top of it. But just like any food, you gotta have acid to help balance out all these other flavors. So our acid is gonna be pickled shallots. I have these sitting in here. I add these, the salads and a few other things and we don’t need a ton of them. So we’re just gonna put some right there on top. A couple more.

And then the last thing that we’re going to add is a fat. We gotta, we want to make sure it has that kind of good mouth feel and it’s a chance for us to add one more flavor to the layers. This is coconut butter or coconut oil, however you want to say it. And I’m just gonna put it right on top. So as it steams, it’s gonna melt right over all the top of that. It’s gonna be really nice. So let’s and that’s it. You’ve got your fish and paper, your one step away from deliciousness. Here we go.

So you noticed, I, I brought it towards the front a little bit cause that’s to make up for the height that we have to go around. And I’m gonna start from one side and the idea is to fold it once and then go about halfway through your fold and fold it again. And you’re just gonna repeat that process. I always make sure I like, do this, give it, give yourself a nice crisp edge there and then just keep working your way around. Now that we’re coming over to this side, gotta make sure those are together.

And once you get to the end, you’ll see it’s just got like a little kind of ear and you can tuck that ear right underneath and you’re good to go. You got your fish en papillote. I’ve got my little quarter pan with a sil pad.

That’s it. You’re making fish and paper pouch. They’re awesome. I usually do at least one of these a week for Lynette because it’s easy. All she’s gotta do is turn on the oven, pop it in there, pull it out. What I like to do is take a pair of scissors and just cut right around the edge and then you can pick that whole thing up, put it on a plate and then rope. Just slide that wax paper right out from underneath. This actually did this for all my aunts were in town. I have four aunts and my mom, five ladies. And we did a bunch of these and they were awesome. In fact, I had pulled them out and I had them sitting on a counter for 30 minutes while they were doing their thing. And finally I had to come on, ladies, we’re, we’re gonna have dinner here.

It’s been waiting for you. And they said it was awesome and had no idea, had been sitting on the counter out of the oven for 30 minutes. So it just shows you kind of the versatility and the longevity that you can have with this dish. You can use any kind of fish. Think about your vegetables and the thickness of the fish. That’s gonna dictate your cooking times. If you pick something like cauliflower or broccoli it’s gonna take a little longer to cook. So you may want to cut them smaller or have a thicker piece of fish to compensate for that cooking time. Thick piece of fish, like really fat salmon would probably take closer to 18 to 20 minutes. So remember those two things. Your vegetable will, I’m picking something that I know is gonna cook in 10 or 12 minutes. You can do asparagus, that’s another great one. Any kind of green lettuce or not in lettuce spinach. Kale what’s the other one that we have here? Swiss Chard. Thank you <laugh>.

But anyway, that’s, that’s it. So here’s another peek into Lynette’s Kitchen and what she eats and the things that that we do to put out some delicious food.

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