Cooked to Perfection, En Papillote

Looking for a new way to cook fish?  What if I told you it was easy and almost fool-proof?  You wouldn’t believe me, right?  But, it’s true.  The trick is to cook fish “en papillote” or in little parchment packets. This method cooks the fish using steam (produced by whatever liquid you introduce into the packet) which keeps fish moist and perfectly flaky.  Another bonus to this type of cooking?  You can infuse so much flavor!  This means you can take almost any mild fish, add herbs, wine, vinegar, and other aromatics and turn it into a delicious masterpiece!  Check out the recipe below I created for Food and Nutrition magazine.  And if you want to learn more about parchment, read more about it here!


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Barramundi En Papillote with Almond Gremolata

  • Author: Sara Haas RDN, LDN


Perfectly steamed barramundi fillets topped with lemon juice and freshly chopped herbs and almonds


  • ¼ cup chopped sliced toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 small lemons)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
  • 6 sprigs, parsley, cleaned
  • 6 barramundi fillets, 5 oz each, skinned and boned
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup dry white wine


  1. Preheat the oven to 400’F.
  2. Cut parchment paper into sheets, approximately 12×16-inches, then fold each piece in half lengthwise. Trace a half of a heart onto each piece, using the fold as the center of the heart. Cut along the traced edges. (You did it correctly if you open the folded paper and see a full heart)
  3. To make the Gremolata: Combine the almonds, chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Stir until well incorporated.
  4. Toss the onion and peppers together in a bowl. On one half of each parchment heart place approximately a ½ cup of the vegetable mixture and a sprig of parsley. Top with a piece of fish and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the fish with the gremolata, evenly distributing among the packets. To seal the packets, begin by folding over the heart. Starting with the pointed end, begin making small folds up the open sides of the parchment. Before fully sealing, fill each packet with 2 tablespoons of white wine. Fold closed.
  5. Place packets on a sheet pan and bake for 10-15 minutes or until fish reaches an internal temperature of 145’F for 15 seconds.
  6. The dish can then be served either within the packets or portioned onto plates. If desired, serve with lemon slices or a splash of lemon juice prior to serving.


  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 352
  • Sugar: 4
  • Sodium: 133
  • Fat: 15
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 8
  • Protein: 40
  • Cholesterol: 119