Sunday, April 17, 2011

Halibut or Mahi in Parchment

My husband has been out of town on business all week, and I hadn't felt well for the last 36 hours.  The thought of making dinner for his return left me completely uninspired (and often nauseous.)  As I sat in the carpool line to pick up our oldest from school, I flipped through a Real Simple magazine.  I found an ad for their new Real Simple recipe app.  I have a recipe app that I love, but my Droid phone ate it, and they're still trying to figure out the glitch.  So I was desperate.  I used ScanLife to scan the encrypted square.  $5 for an app that I didn't know if I'd even want long term seemed like a lot, but if I didn't like it, I could "return" it within 15 minutes.  Well, within 2 minutes, I'd found the perfect recipe.  Quick. Easy. Healthy. Full of things my husband loves.

Asian-style White Fish in Parchment Ingredients
Adapted from Real Simple recipe By Kate Merker,  December 2006

  • 1 small head bok choy, thickly sliced, or 4 baby bok choy, ends trimmed
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 4 6-ounce halibut, mahi, or other firm white fish fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • zest from 1/2 orange, cut into matchstick-size strips
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated gingerroot


  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Tear off four 15-inch squares of parchment paper or aluminum foil and arrange on 2 baking sheets.
  2. Divide the bok choy and bell pepper evenly among the squares, place the halibut fillets on top, sprinkle with black pepper, and top with the scallions and zest.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, oil, and ginger. Spoon the mixture evenly over the halibut.
  4. Top each fillet with another square of parchment or foil and fold the edges over several times to seal. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer each packet to a plate. Serve with a knife to slit open the package. Be careful of the steam that will escape.
We all loved it.  I'll definitely make it again.  I may do them in one large parchment pocket instead of individual ones next time if I'm only making it for our family.  It makes for a fun presentation if you're serving it to guests, but we don't really want all of the paper on our plates anyway.  One large parchment pocket would use less parchment.  I served it along with coconut rice (white rice made with 1 C rice, 1 C water, and 1 can low-fat organic coconut milk.)  My 6 year old said he didn't care for the rice.  Although, he has started critiquing ALL of my meal preparations in recent weeks, and I don't know how much of it is sincere.  We have always encouraged an open dialogue at meal time regarding things we love, things we like, and things we "don't care for."  (We've tried to nix "I don't like ___.")  It also means that our kids try EVERYTHING we feed them so that they can participate in the conversation.  They can also mix items on their plates to determine if certain combinations are more appealing.  All said and done, this recipe is a winner, and my oldest may get "plain white rice" with his next time if I have any leftover from another meal.  (I don't "short order cook" anything for any of our family members - 1 meal is served during each meal time.)

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