Seafood

Wrapping your fish

Create a steaming parcel to keep your fish deliciously moist


I’m very fond of steaming fish in a parcel, or “en papillote” as the French call it. This way of cooking allows the fish to steam in its own juices, making the flavours very pure but intense. It’s simple and healthy and fish cooked this way is always moist and tender. I’ve used Chinese-style ingredients in this recipe, but you can play with the flavourings. For a touch of Thai, add chopped lemon grass to the sauce and place some in the parcel. For a classic French taste, add a touch of lemon juice and chopped fresh herbs – parsley, chervil or dill – to the fish in the packet and spoon over a fresh herb dressing rather than the Chinese-style sauce.

I recommend using silver foil rather than the traditional silicone paper as it’s very easy to use and does the job very well. Don’t forget to oil or grease the sheet of foil before you place the food on it. 

As you can see in the video, I place any seasoning ingredients and the fish in the centre of the oiled foil. Bring the foil over and carefully fold the edges tightly together. Unwrap the parcel just a little to make a hole into which you pour the wine. I’ve used wine, but you could use stock. It’s your choice. You need some liquid in with the fish to create the steam while it cooks. Seal the parcel up tightly again. Take care not to pierce the foil in the process. You want to create a sealed parcel, so that the fish will cook thoroughly inside.