Fish en papillote

Fish cooked en papillote (which is French for ‘in paper’ and is pronounced ahn-pa-pee-yawt) means to bake fish inside a pouch made of folded parchment paper. Despite its fancy French name, this dish is one of the easiest methods to cook fish, sure to wow at any barbecue.


  • 1 fillet of firm white fish, such as cod or snapper
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp finely ground lemon zest
  • 1 Tsp finely chopped fresh dill
  • Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • Handful of mixed fresh herbs, such as tarragon, dill, and parsley


  1. Mix the butter, shallot, lemon, dill, salt, and pepper, and store in an airtight container for later use.
  2. Heat the barbecue to 200 deg C.
  3. On one side of parchment paper, layer fennel and shallot slices, then place the fish on top. Season with salt and pepper, add shallot butter, lemon slices, and fresh herbs. If using a butterflied fish, insert herbs into the cavities.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and a splash of white wine.
  5. Fold the other half of the parchment over the ingredients, then fold and pinch along the edges to seal, creating a semi-circle with crimped edges.
  6. Barbecue for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through.
  7. Carefully cut open the packet, avoiding escaping steam, and serve.

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