By the time I get home from a long nightshift, I’m hungry for “dinner”—even if it’s 8 in the morning. While it’s mighty tempting to just mash up some canned tuna with avocado, the food snob in me sometimes demands a fancier meal. One that doesn’t come out of a can.
In an ideal world, someone else would cook for me (and clean-up, too), but with the kids at school and Henry at work, I’m left to my own devices. Luckily, what I’ve devised for this type of occasion is a frou-frou fancy-pants dish that’s a breeze to assemble: Fish en Papillotte with Citrus, Ginger, and Shiitake.
The name may sound complicated, but it really doesn’t get much simpler than this: fish and vegetables are steamed in a tightly sealed paper packet with aromatics and a bright, tangy sauce. (Not sure what kind of fish to buy at the market? Check the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.)
After all, even if you’re cooking for just one, you deserve to eat something special. It’s important to practice self-love, right? In fact, as you’re preparing this dish for your seafood-loving self, I insist that you belt out The Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston and/or chant this daily affirmation:
Here’s what you’ll need to feed one lucky person:
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 2 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 6 ounce skinless white fish fillet (like cod, which is what I used)
- kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal brand)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 thin orange or lime slices
- 1 green onion, trimmed and cut into 2 inch sections
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
Here’s what you do:
Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 450°F. In a small bowl, combine the coconut aminos, orange juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and sesame oil.
Stir in the minced ginger and sliced mushrooms. Set aside.
Season both sides of the fish fillet with salt and pepper.
Take a large sheet of parchment paper and fold it in half. Draw half a heart on the paper so that when you cut it out, you get a full heart. (I know it’s not Valentine’s Day and you’re not in second grade art class, but work with me, people.)
Open your heart (it’s not that hard, if you just turn the key—yeah, I’m singing old Madonna songs now) and tile the three slices of orange on one side of the heart.
Place the seasoned fish filet on top of the orange slices.
Spoon the mushrooms and sauce on top of the fish…
…and add the green onion stalks.
Fold the other half of the parchment heart on top of the fish and begin tightly crimping the edges together, starting at the top-center of the heart.
Make sure the packet is tightly sealed by turning and crimping the edges. At the pointy bottom end of the heart, twist the paper tightly to seal well.
Place the packet on a rimmed baking sheet…
…and place it in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut open the packet (but be careful—it’s hot!).
Remove the wilted scallions, and top with freshly minced cilantro and slivered green onions.
Plate it up if you’re feeling fancy…
This is a perfect meal for one, but you can easily make more packets if you’ve got guests. Bonus: Once you’re done eating, just chuck the soiled packet. No muss, no fuss.
Looking for more recipes like this one? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).