Here is a gorgeous fish dinner: easy salmon en papillote: steamed salmon parcels with orange zest, white wine and cilantro!
How light and healthy is this salmon en papillote!
Do you often cook food in parchment paper?
Have you seen it before but you just don’t know where to start?
Then let me show you a very simple recipe in papilotte, with an ingredient lots of people love: fresh salmon! Believe me, even if you are not an experienced cook then you will pull this one off with flying colors.
Cooking food in parchment paper is a very easy way of cooking, and it has other benefits as well.
Check them below this recipe!
And it is also a fun and creative way to cook dinner. Just add whatever ingredient or protein you want, season and just let it bake in a hot oven.
A great variation is wrapping your dinner up in tinfoil and cook it on the bbq.
But I guess you already knew that…
You want to try out my salmon en papillote recipe, but you don’t have parchment paper?
There are alternative options, you can find them below!
Easy Salmon En Papillote
Papillote comes from the French term ‘en papillote’, cooking food in a paper pouch.
What I like about cooking salmon en papillote is the fact that you can cook a healthy meal with it. The little paper pouch works like a steam bag which cooks your ingredients in a very natural way.
You basically don’t need to add any oil or butter to your meal.
If you do feel like it can use butter or oil, then I suggest that you add it after your dish is cooked and not before. Drizzle it with a good quality olive oil or put a slice of compound butter on top of the freshly cooked salmon or whatever type of protein you use.
Summer Fish Dinner
So here is a delicious fish dinner for you to try out soon!
A beautiful piece of steamed salmon en papillote with orange zest, dry white wine and fresh cilantro. This papillote can’t go wrong because it is so easy!
Do you love fish in papillote?
Then you should also check out my salt cod in papillote with wild mushrooms!
Easy Salmon En Papillote Recipe
- 10,5 oz fresh salmon (300 g)
- 2 tbsp orange zest grated
- 5,5 oz frozen green peas (155 g)
- 8 medium fresh spring onions
- a handful fresh cilantro chopped
- 4 tbsp dry white wine
- Clean, trim and rinse the spring onions. Then cut them in half.
- Place 2 big squares of parchment paper on a clean surface. We are making 2 papillote parcels so the ingredients will be divided between them. Add in the middle the spring onion and a quarter of the frozen peas.
- Then sprinkle with some of the grated orange zest and the chopped cilantro. Season lightly with some pepper and salt.
- Cut the salmon into 2 steaks and place it on top of the spring onions and peas.
- Sprinkle with the rest of the grated orange zest and the freshly chopped cilantro. Then season again with a little pepper and salt.
- Then drizzle the salmon with the white wine.
Now fold the parchment paper over the salmon. Fold the side (left or right, whatever you like best) over and over again.
And like this work your way around the salmon, closing the parcel.
Don’t wrap it too tightly. There still needs to be so air in the parcel so the fish can steam and breathe.
- Once the parcels are closed entirely, place them on a baking tray and then bake them in a preheated oven at 392°F (200°C) for about 12 to 15 minutes. Depends on how thick the salmon is and if you prefer it cooked through or pink in the middle. I baked mine for 13 minutes. Remove the papillote from the oven and transfer them onto plates. Carefully snip the parcels open. Top with extra fresh cilantro. Serve the salmon immediately.
What are the benefits of cooking salmon en papillote?
Cooking food “en papillote” (French for “in parchment”) is a culinary technique where food is cooked by sealing it inside a parchment paper or foil packet.
This method offers several benefits that make it a popular choice for many chefs and home cooks.
1. Flavor Infusion
Cooking en papillote allows the ingredients to cook in their own juices, enhancing the depth and intensity of flavors.
As the food steams within the sealed packet, it absorbs the aromatic vapors from herbs, spices, and other seasonings, resulting in a harmonious and well-infused taste profile.
2. Moisture Retention
The sealed packet traps steam and moisture, ensuring that the food remains moist and tender throughout the cooking process.
This is particularly beneficial for lean proteins like fish or chicken, which can easily become dry when cooked using other methods.
3. Healthier Cooking
Because the food is cooked in its own juices and minimal additional fats are needed, the en papillote method is considered a healthier cooking technique.
It helps preserve the natural nutrients and flavors of the ingredients without the need for excessive oils or fats.
4. Visual Appeal
When the packet is opened at the table, the aromatic steam and vibrant colors of the cooked ingredients create an impressive presentation.
This makes en papillote cooking a wonderful choice for special occasions or when entertaining guests.
5. Easy Cleanup
Parchment paper or foil packets not only cook the food but also serve as a convenient and disposable cooking vessel.
This means less cleanup after the meal, making it a hassle-free option for busy cooks.
6. Uniform Cooking
The enclosed environment of the packet ensures even cooking, as the heat circulates evenly around the ingredients.
This helps prevent overcooking or undercooking certain portions of the dish.
En papillote cooking is highly adaptable, allowing for endless possibilities in terms of ingredients and seasonings.
It is a versatile technique that accommodates various dietary preferences and ingredient combinations.
8. No Special Equipment Needed
While there are specific parchment paper or foil bags designed for en papillote cooking, it is also easy to create your own packets with regular parchment paper or aluminum foil.
This means you don’t need any specialized equipment to try out this cooking method.
9. Retained Aromas
Cooking in a sealed packet concentrates the aromas of the dish, creating an enticing and fragrant experience when the packet is opened.
10. Reduced Risk of Cross-Contamination
Because each ingredient is enclosed within its own packet, there is a reduced risk of cross-flavoring or cross-contamination, making it a practical choice for cooking different ingredients together.
Whether you are cooking delicate fish such as salmon en papillote, tender vegetables, or flavorful meats, the en papillote technique offers a range of benefits that contribute to delicious, nutritious, and visually appealing meals.
Substitutes for parchment paper for cooking en papillote?
You want to try out my salmon en papillote recipe, but you don’t have parchment paper?
There are alternative options that can yield equally satisfactory results.
A readily available substitute, aluminum foil offers sturdiness and heat resistance, making it a suitable choice for creating a sealed cooking packet.
Like parchment paper, it effectively traps steam and flavors, contributing to tender and flavorful results. However, be aware that aluminum foil can be a bit less porous than parchment paper, potentially creating a slightly different cooking environment.
To address this, you might want to consider leaving a small cut or opening in the packet to regulate steam release.
For a distinctive twist on the traditional approach, consider using banana leaves.
Common in Asian and tropical cuisines, these leaves infuse a subtle earthy aroma into your dish while allowing steam to circulate.
Prior to use, soften the leaves by passing them briefly over an open flame, ensuring they become pliable for wrapping.
Embrace a rustic approach by employing corn husks, frequently used in Mexican cuisine for tamales.
After soaking the husks in warm water to soften them, they become flexible wrappers that not only hold in steam but also introduce a mild corn flavor to your dish.
Purpose-built cooking bags, often crafted from heat-resistant materials like nylon or polyester, provide a convenient alternative.
These bags facilitate easy sealing and steam retention, making them an effective choice for salmon en papillote.
For an unconventional and textured approach, consider cabbage leaves.
With a distinct flavor and sturdy structure, they can function as wrappers for your salmon en papillote. Their heartiness allows them to hold up well in the cooking process.
As you explore these substitutes, remember that the essence of en papillote cooking lies in maintaining a sealed and steaming environment that ensures flavors meld and ingredients remain tender. Feel free to experiment with different options to discover which alternative best aligns with your desired culinary outcome.