I never really bought the idea of baking in foil. I usually cook fish in parchment paper and the fish cooks by steam in its own juices, in French it’s called “en papillote.” It adds a special touch when you have dinner guests because they get their own little package and when they open it up a cloud of steam and aroma rises from the browned, crumpled paper. So the other night for dinner I purchased a piece of cod and went to prepare it “en papiollote.” Unfortunately I didn’t have any parchment in my house, so I went searching for other ideas when I came across the aluminum foil. I heard that direct contact from aluminum foil could lead to Alzheimer’s disease over a long period of time but I figured, “Hey! What’s one piece?” So instead of my classic French technique with flair, I went with the ole Reynolds Wrap.
I started by partially sautéing some vegetables for the base of my Asian Baked Cod along with aromatics. It’s important to keep the vegetables crispy and only cook for 2-3 minutes since they will cook again in the oven.
Ginger, garlic, bell pepper, onion, leeks, and jalapeno.
After that I sautéed the cabbage and mushrooms together since they have a different cooking time.
Next I mixed together a quick sauce with sesame oil, soy sauce, black bean sauce, sambal oelek, and rice vinegar. Because I love it spicy!
I took a 2-foot piece of aluminum foil and folded it in half. I sprayed my foil with cooking spray and placed my sautéed vegetables on the bottom to make a bed for my fish. Then I set the fish on top and seasoned it lightly with salt and pepper. (Remember that soy sauce and black bean sauce are salty and sambal oelek is spicy, so don’t overdo it with the salt and pepper.) Finally I poured the sauce over the top of the fish and let it drip down onto the vegetables. Wrap your foil into a neat, little package and bake at 375°F for 13-17 minutes depending on your oven. Serve with brown rice or any noodle of your choice.
And look Ma…no clean up!
This is a great way to cook fish and other lean protein like chicken breasts. It leaves little clean-up and also creates a nice “pan sauce” right in the little package. In terms of healthy eating, it’s ideal because it requires very little, or in this case no fat. Cooking “en papillote” or in foil is perfect for solo cooking or entertaining for a crowd and the prep time will be about the same for both occasions. You can use any type of sauce and mixture of vegetables to suit your preferences or for picky eaters. And who doesn’t have that foil lying around the house?
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
½ C bell pepper, sliced
½ C onion, sliced
½ C leek, sliced
1 C Chinese cabbage, sliced
1/12 C shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp jalapeno, minced
5 oz cod or any firm-fleshed fish
½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp black bean sauce
2 tsp sambal oelek
½ tsp sesame oil
½ tbsp rice vinegar