Fish in Paper


This recipe is one I have made for my little girl ever since she was little. The paper bag steams the fish and vegetables and ensures all the flavour and goodness is locked in. I prep parcels for all my family, using this recipe, and customise them accordingly. It is really the original #onefamilyonerecipe idea that I used to make for us all. This is my favourite version, my daughter isn’t keen on the fennel, but loves the fish, potatoes and cherry tomatoes

  • 4 cod fillets, sustainably caught with skin removed (100-150g), or white fish of your choice

  • 450g new potatoes, washed

  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed

  • x12 cherry tomatoes

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • parsley leaves, to serve

  • lemon, to serve

Also useful:

Bacofoil (foil already brilliantly lined with parchment paper), or parchment paper and foil to create the paper parcels, in which case: take a sheet of foil and cut a sheet of parchment paper, to the same size, to line it

2 oven trays


Preheat the oven to 180-190°C fan.

Take a pan of boiling water and parboil the new potatoes, for 10-12 mins, depending on the size of the new potatoes. You want them to have a little give when pressed with a sharp knife, they will finish cooking in the oven.

To make the paper parcels: cut a sheet of bacofoil large enough to be folded in two, and accommodate, on one side of the folded sheet, your ingredients. I would recommend a sheet of 45cm approx. Repeat until you have four folded sheets, to make four parcels.

  • Add the ingredients to one half of your bacofoil, centering the ingredients in the middle of one half, so that you have room to seal the edges.

  • Start with the fennel, par boiled new potatoes and cherry tomatoes: dividing them equally between the four sheets, then top with the fish fillet, drizzle each with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

  • Now fold the parcels up leaving one side open. Start by covering over the ingredients, with the remaining half of bacofoil. Join the side edges together and fold over 3-4 times until you have a tight seal at each side of the parcel.

  • With the remaining open side, add 2 tablespoons of water to the ingredients, this will help the fish and vegetables steam. Then seal this last open side.

  • You should now have a completely sealed parcel. Repeat the process until all x4 parcels are filled and sealed, containing their ingredients and a splash of water.

Lie the parcels flat on 2 trays, 2 per tray and place in the hot oven.

Cook the parcels for 15-18 mins, until the fish is completely cooked through and flaking away; the vegetables should be beautifully cooked and a little al dente.

You can either serve the parcels as they are at the table, so everyone gets the excitement of opening their own parcel. Or open the steaming parcels and pile the vegetables, topped with the fish fillets onto one big serving platter. Scatter with some fresh parsley and serve with wedges of lemon.

fishMiriam Cooper