Cooking en papillote simply means cooking in paper. Parchment paper to be exact. Most supermarkets sell rolls of parchment paper in the same section as the plastic wrap and foil…or you could do what I did and purchase a professional sized box of full sheet pan sized parchment paper. That was TEN years ago and there isn’t even a small dent in my supply. I have so much I literally wrap gifts in it to use it up! The dish is generally cooked with herbs, a simple sauce, mushrooms and vegetables in a tightly closed paper packet that swells during cooking. Fish (sole, flounder, cod, haddock and salmon fillets), boneless/skinless chicken breast and scallops and shrimp are particularly good choices when cooking en papillote.
The following recipe for Asian Flavored Fish En Papillote is easy to make and more importantly, easy to eat. The fish, seasonings and veggies create a delicate soy-ginger broth that is soothing served over fragrant jasmine rice. I’ve chosen to add very thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms because not only are they GP-friendly but possess nutritional “super powers” compared to other mushrooms. According to one of my favorite websites World’s Healthiest Foods (www.whfoods.com) shiitakes invigorate the immune system and are a top food source of potent antioxidants. The stems are very tough and fibrous and should be removed and reserved for flavoring stocks and soups. I’ve also chosen to add green onions to the packets. They add to the cooking broth but should be removed before eating. This was a light and nutritious meal. There was even room for a small scoop of Edy’s Slow Churned Limited Edition Pumpkin ice cream after the dinner dishes were taken care of.
Asian Flavored Fish En Papillote
Serves 1 but can be multiplied
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grated ginger root, pressed through a sieve to catch the fibers
6 ounce fillet of white fish (I used skinless haddock fillet)
shiitake mushrooms (caps only), thinly sliced
3 green onions (white and green parts), sliced lengthwise into ribbons
1 12×16″ piece of parchment paper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and ginger. With the short end of the parchment sheet facing you, place the fish fillet in the middle of the sheet parallel to the short end. Top with shiitake slices and green onions. Drizzle the fillet with the soy mixture then fold parchment over fillet. Roll and crimp edges tightly to seal packet. Place on a baking sheet in the middle of the oven and cook until packet is puffed and browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cut the top of the packet open with kitchen scissors and serve fish, mushrooms and broth over jasmine rice. Remove green onions and discard.