Baked in parchment paper, miso-marinated sea bass and vegetables retain moisture while capturing the essence of Asian-inspired flavors. Serve this nutritious entree with brown rice or noodles for an easy weeknight meal. En papillote (French for “in parchment”), is a simple method of cooking in which food is folded into a pouch of parchment paper and baked. This method allows the protein and vegetables to be steamed while encased in a pouch for optimal moisture and tenderness. The foods being cooked then take on the character of the fresh herbs, broths, or marinades surrounding them.
Cooking en papillote may seem fancy, but it’s actually an excellent solution for busy weeknight dinners that requires minimal clean up. There’s also something inherently exciting about opening a packet at the table to a cloud of aromatic steam. Similar to the feeling of opening a present on Christmas morning if your foodie sentiments run equally as deep. 😉Now onto the real MVP of this recipe – MISO.
If you’re new to miso, this fermented soybean paste adds a unique burst of umami flavor to everything from soups, meat, fish or vegetables. There are different styles of miso, ranging from light and mild to dark and strong. This recipe uses the mildest and sweetest variety, shiro miso, which is white to pale yellow in color and made from rice and soybeans.
This type of miso pairs particularly well with dressings, sauces and soups. Using miso alone can add worlds of savory depth to your food and truly invigorate your palette.In addition to the miso-marinated sea bass, I also added fresh asparagus, red bell pepper and Japanese eggplant to the pouch. The vegetables were delicately steamed to perfection and lightly infused with the flavors of the marinade.
The vegetables can be customized to your liking, though I would not recommend the cruciferous varieties (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels, etc.), as they may require additional cooking time to soften.
One your en papillote is ready, you can choose to eat the fish and vegetables right out of the bag or serve them over a bed of brown rice or noodles. Just don’t let any of the delicious juices go to waste!Try this fun, flavorful meal for dinner this week or at your next summer soirée. Your tastebuds and your guests will be equally impressed!
If you do make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!
Miso Sea Bass En Papillote (In Parchment)
- 1 lb Chilean sea bass sliced into 3 filets (sub for halibut)
- 2 tbsp white miso shiro miso
- 3 tsp mirin
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- Juice of 1 lime
- 18 stalks of asparagus trimmed
- 1 small Japanese eggplant thinly sliced at a diagonal
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- 3 tbsp sliced green onion
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- In a small bowl, mix white miso, mirin, ginger and lime juice until well-combined. Generously coat flesh of fish filets and let stand at room temperature for ~30 minutes while you chop and trim the vegetables. Lightly season vegetables with a dash of salt and pepper.
- Place three 18-inch square pieces of parchment paper on a flat surface. Fold each piece in half to create a crease in the center. Place 6 stalks of asparagus lengthwise next to the crease and top with one third of the sliced red pepper and 4-5 slices of eggplant.
- Gently place one fish filet on top of the vegetables and top with sliced green onion and sesame seeds. Fold the parchment paper over the fish. Starting at one end and repeating on all open sides, making small, tight, overlapping folds in the parchment paper to create a sealed packet around the fish (refer to picture above).
- Repeat with remaining parchment and filets. Place packets on a baking sheet and bake for ~20 minutes, depending on thickness of filet.
- Transfer packet to a plate and carefully slice open with a knife. You can choose to remove contents or simply eat right out of the bag!