Whole Fish en Papillote With Fennel, Lemon and Salsa Verde- Cooking whole fish in a bag creates amazing flavour and perfectly cooked fish. This fish is simple to create and will looking stunning on your table, let us show you how.
Pairing the fish with classic flavours, allows the cooking method and delicious natural flavour of the fish to do all the hard work. Place the whole fish on a bed of sliced lemon, fresh fennel, parsley, red onion and wrap in a paper envelope (en papillote) with a splash of wine. Creating beautiful fish steamed in its own juice and permeated with the fragrant fennel and lemon. A great recipe for weekend entertaining and beautiful center piece to any table.
Cooking fish in a bag...
Cooking in a paper bag or en Papillote is nothing new, a technique perfected in France in the 17th century it means to cook in an envelope. You simply place the fish along with a selection of ingredients onto the paper and seal it. You can also use foil which can be a little easier to seal. The beauty of this type of cooking is that you steam and bake at the same time. Producing perfectly cooked fish which is permeated with the flavours of the other ingredients. A great method for cooking whole fish and fillets.
What fish works best for en papillote?...
Most fish varieties work well with cooking en papillote. This recipe used a delicious whole Tarakihi which is readily available in New Zealand. Choose a fish that is plate size, we would also recommend trevally, snapper, baby salmon, trout or portions of salmon. The best bet is to give your local fish monger a visit, see what they have available and sustainable in your area. Some important tips when shopping for fish to make sure you are buying fresh: the fish smells of the sea, the eyes are clear and the gills are a bright red.
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The Flavours Are Flexible.
The great thing about cooking en Papillote is you can get creative with what you add to the bag.
Some options are:
- Fennel, onion, lemon and wine.
- Cherry tomatoes, olives, basil, olive oil and wine
- Bok choy, ginger, chilli, coriander, soy sauce and lemongrass
- Courgettes, potato and pesto
Yum, that list has just made us hungry and we hope we have inspired you to get creative too. Go with flavours you like and what is available locally to you. But whatever flavour profile you go for the process is always the same. The only change is the cooking time and this depends on your size of fish.
Whole fish en papillote with fennel, lemon and salsa Verde is a beautiful crowd pleasing dish and well worth attempting. Once you have cracked the process there are so many delicious flavours to put together. Let us walk you through it... Enjoy!
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Our goal is to share simple, tasty dishes created by Chef Shane and partner, Sara. Using Shane's understanding of flavours and knowledge of food, to teach and inspire you to create delicious food everyday and gain a new level of confidence in the kitchen. Sara understands what it's like preparing weekly dinners for a busy family of five and likes to create dishes that are easy, full of flavour, that the whole family will enjoy.
Whole Fish en Papillote Recipe
- 1 Whole fish (800g) gutted, scaled, trimmed
- ½ Fennel bulb ½ cm slices
- 1 Lemon ½ cm slices
- 1 Red onion ½ cm slices
- 1 bunch Italian parsley Stalks only, keep the leaves
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 150 ml White wine
- Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- 20 g Italian parsley leaves reserved from the stalks
- 15 g Basil leaves picked
- 1 clove Garlic
- 2 ea Anchovy fillets
- 1 teaspoon Capers
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 ea Gherkins (small)
- 80 ml Extra virgin olive oil
- 30 ml Red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Making the Salsa Verde
- Place all the ingredients into a mini food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
- Remove and store in a jar in the fridge.
Preparing your Fish
- Preheat your oven to 180 deg C
- Rinse your whole fish under cold running water to clean. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Using a sharp knife make four evenly spaced cuts on each side cutting down to the spine.
- Take a piece of baking paper that is two and a half times the length of the fish and lay out onto the bench.
- Lay a base of the sliced fennel, parsley stalks, lemon and red onion on one half of the baking paper sheet then place your fish on top of the base vegetables. Place any excess fennel and lemon inside the belly of the fish. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Fold the extra length of baking paper over your fish. Starting at the folded end, fold over the edge of the paper working your way around the whole piece, to create a sealed envelope. (You can also use a stapler to help you get a tight seal)
- Before you close up the envelope pour in your wine and seal.
- Place on a baking tray and into your pre heated oven for 25 minutes.
- Once cooked, place the parcel onto your serving board and cut down the center of the paper to reveal the fish, drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil.
- Serve with the salsa verde and your favourite salad.
- This dish can be cooked on a covered BBQ, just switch the paper for foil.