Fish Baked in Parchment Paper

From issue #10.
Photography by Minka Firth.
Fish Baked in Parchment Paper

Serves: 4


4 x 180 gram portions of fish fillets, no more than 3 cm thick, e.g. Terakihi, Gurnard or Snapper
300 grams waxy potatoes, sliced 1⁄2 cm thick
2 fennel bulbs, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
16 black olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons butter, diced
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons dry vermouth or white wine
fennel fronds or dill to garnish – optional
4 x 50cm long pieces of baking paper


Preheat the oven to 220oC and place a baking tray in the oven.

Cook the sliced potatoes in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain well.

Toss the fennel with the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, thyme and olives. Add the potatoes and gently combine. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Take the baking paper and fold into thirds widthways. Open out the paper. Place 1/8 of the fennel/potato mixture in the centre section of each piece of paper. Place the fish on top, season and top with the butter. Add the tomatoes to the remaining fennel and place on top of the fish. Bring the edges together at one end and fold over 2-3 times. Staple to secure. Repeat at the other end. Leave the centre open.

When you are ready to cook, pour a tablespoon of vermouth or wine into each bag. Fold the centre edges and staple. Place on the hot baking tray and cook for 10-12 minutes. The bag should puff up and the paper turns a pale golden colour.

Place the bags on individual serving plates and serve with lemon wedges and a herb garnish. Each person then opens their own parcel and inhales the delicious aromas. Serves 4