Cooking Fish in Parchment Paper

January 20, 2012

Learn how-to cook healthy and delicately steamed fish in parchment paper (or shall we say en papillote) with our simple steps and paired aromatic recipe.

black bass en papillote

The French have a way of making ordinary words sound exquisitely divine. En papillote is no exception. Meaning to steam small portions of food in a wrapper, cooking en papillote is an incredibly easy technique that yields delicate and flavor rich results. We especially love fish en papillote (fish in parchment) and are certain you won’t cook your fillets any other way after trying it. Here are a few tips on mastering the method:

  • Pick the Perfect Parchment: Despite its flimsy appearance, parchment paper is surprisingly durable and can withstand temperatures up to 450F. Choose rolled parchment over individual sheets for more versatility, and be careful not to use flammable wax paper in its place.
  • Adding Flavor: The best part about cooking fish en papillote is the intensified flavors created from the steam and aromas being unable to escape the tightly sealed and individually wrapped parchment pouches. The steam eliminates the need for oils or fats, so simply add herbs, seasonings, liquids (such as white wine, soy sauce or broth) and even thinly sliced vegetables to your fillet’s package for a rich flavor.
  • Serve in Style: Once the parchment has lightly browned and puffed with steam, it’s time to remove the fish from the oven for serving. We suggest placing the fresh-out-of-the-oven packet directly on guests’ plates so they may experience the savory and aromatic release of steam upon opening.

Black Bass en Papillote

Sea bass, salmon, cod, halibut—all will work in this delectably simple recipe from Chef Danny Grant of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Chicago.


Salmon in Parchment Paper

Fresh salmon, arugula and herbed cheese make a delicate, flavorful dinner.


Summer Vegetables in Parchment Paper

The best summer vegetables all wrapped up in a parchment paper heart.


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