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Recipe Collection

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Fish Poached in Paper

Fish Poached in Paper Related:   dairy, Europe, fish, gluten-free, Passover, Shavuot, Yom Kippur

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

This recipe is quick, easy and very tasty. There’s a lot to be said for cooking with paper and string, in cartoccio. Your little parcels will seal in flavor and they look incredibly enticing on a plate. The surprise is that the parcels aren’t baked, but poached.


  • 4 boneless fillets of fish
  • Olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges for garnish
  • String or good thread


  • Cut the fish into 2-inch pieces. Cut baking parchment into 8 6-inch squares, so there are two squares for each piece of fish. Dampen the papers by flicking it with water from your fingers, and brush with olive oil. Lay two sheets of paper, one above the other, at an angle, to form an eight-pointed star. Place a piece of fish with some slices of fennel and onion, a sprinkle of parsley and a tablespoon of butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Repeat using the remaining papers and ingredients. Gather up the points of each set of papers (enclosing fish and vegetables), together at the top and secure them with a loop of string tied in a bow. Bring an inch of water to the boil in a shallow pan wide enough to hold all the parcels together. When it is boiling, lower the parcels into the water and cook for 15 minutes on the stove. Serve in the paper packages, with lemon wedges.
  • Reprinted with permission from Yashim Cooks Istanbul: Culinary Adventures in the Ottoman Kitchen by Jason Goodwin (Argonaut Books, 2016). 

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