This is the easiest, least messy, least stinky way to cook fish.
It’s also endlessly flexible as you switch out what you add to the packet. If you’ve never tried cooking fish in a packet before, you need to give it a go. First, the fish stays really moist. Second, it contains that fishy smell that cooking fish can bring into a home. Third, it’s crazy easy. Finally, it’s crazy delicious. Skin-on filets will have more flavor; skinned filets will have less mess at the end—the choice is yours. Whichever you choose, be sure to remove any pin bones (you can feel them as you run your finger along the center of the filet—pull any out with small pliers or tweezers).
Scroll down to find other flavor combination ideas to mix things up.
- 4 filets salmon (about 6 ounces each)
- Salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
- 4 - 8 spears asparagus
- 2 green onions
- 1/2 cup shelled green peas
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- Heat an oven to 400°F.
- Prepare 4 sheets of parchment paper or aluminum foil—about 18 inches long each.
- Set a piece of salmon on each piece of parchment—put it on one half of the sheet so you can eventually fold the other side over it to enclose the fish. Sprinkle each filet with salt and pepper and top with 1 tablespoon of butter or oil each.
- Trim or snap off and discard the woody ends of the asparagus. Cut the spears thinly on the bias and scatter them over the salmon.
- Trim the green onions, cut them thinly on the bias, and scatter evenly over the salmon. Scatter the peas over the salmon, too.
- Remove the leaves from the thyme sprig and add a few to each packet.
- Enclose each filet into a packet by folding the parchment paper over and twisting the edges together to form a sealed packet. Set the packets on baking sheet(s) for easier handling. Bake until the salmon is cooked through, about 15 minutes for 1-inch thick filets.
- Serve the packets for diners to open dramatically at the table, if you like.
- Earthy. Add a sliced morel or two to each packet.
- Bright. Grate a bit of ginger and add a sprig or two of cilantro over each filet.
- Salty-Sweet. Coat each filet with about 1/2 teaspoon miso.
- Herbalicious. Toss a large pinch of chopped herbs, such as dill or mint, into each packet.