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Salmon en Papillote Recipe

We have given this recipe for salmon, but a steak of any firm fish is just as successful - Brill and Turbot spring to mind, but rolled-up Dover Sole fillets or Monkfish medallions would be equally successful. If you prefer more robust flavours see our recipe for 'Salmon, Sea Bass or Swordfish en Papillote Barbecue-Style'

If rolling up sole fillets, or the fillets of any fish for that matter - having removed the skin, make a few shallow cuts on this skin side and roll them so this becomes the inside. This way they are less likely to unroll. A cocktail stick is a useful aid for some recipes, but if used here might puncture the parcel.

For thin fillets reduce the oven time to 10 minutes and cut out the preliminary sealing.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards.


4 helpings as a main course:

- 4 * 170g/6oz Salmon fillets, skinned
- 50g/2oz Butter
- 50ml/2 fl oz Noilly Prat - no other vermouth combines so well with fish
- 450ml/16 fl oz Double Cream
- 1 big Carrot, peeled
- 2 sticks of Celery, washed
- 1 big Leek, carefully washed - then the root and dark-green sections removed (the hot-tasting dark green top can be used for stock)
- half a small Fennel bulb (optional)
- a sprig of fresh Tarragon or a small pinch of dried
- Salt and freshly-ground Pepper
- The juice of half a Lemon, sieved

Equipment: 25cm/10in squares of good tin foil or greaseproof paper


1. Cut the vegetables into julienne strips.
2. Melt half the butter in a wide saucepan or frying pan and gently sweat the vegetable pieces for 3 minutes, adding the tarragon leaves and a little salt and pepper for the final minute. Mix well and transfer to a side dish, leaving the juices in the pan.
3. Add the remaining butter to the pan and increase the heat to medium.
4. Sprinkle the fish steaks with a little salt and pepper on both sides, the seal them by frying for 1 minute on each side. Remove them from the pan, so that they stop cooking instantly.
5. Add the Noilly Prat to the pan and deglaze any goodies; then mix in the cream and cook until it bubbles. Remove from the heat.
6. Assemble your parcels by sharing out the ingredients, putting just a few vegetable strips underneath the fish, but most on top.
7. Loosely secure the parcels, allowing plenty of air space inside.

 can be prepared ahead up to this point and kept at room temperature for a few hours or in the fridge if overnight.

8. Heat the oven to 200°/400°/Gas 6.
9. Put your parcels onto a baking tray, at the top of the oven for 15 minutes.
10. Remove.
To Serve: either unwrap in the kitchen or produce the parcels at the table allowing your guests to unwrap their own - perhaps with simple vegetables, and perhaps new potatoes.

Recipe taken from 'Foolproof Entertaining' by Simon Scrutton.

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