Fish Parcels with Shallots & Tomatoes

2:55 am on 2 August 2008

These are gorgeous to eat. Remember to undercook the fish because it continues to cook at it stands.

(Serves 4)


  • 4 x 150g white fish fillets (snapper, South Island cod, red mullet or bream)
  • olive oil
  • Natural Lemon Flaky Sea Salt, or Smoked Garlic Salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 4 black olives
  • 1 Tbsp capers, drained
  • ¼ cup finely sliced shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 4 semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley


Rinse fish fillets and pat dry with kitchen paper. Cut four pieces of baking paper 32cm long and spread them on the bench. Alternatively, use a double thickness of tin foil, and oil the part that will come in contact with the fish fillets. Put fish fillets in centre of pieces of paper, folding them over to make bundles. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the ground coriander.

Divide olives, capers, shallots, garlic and tomatoes between fillets, then top mixture with lemon zest and juice, parsley and a drizzle of oil.

Tie parcels tightly with string, allowing a little bit of room for ingredients to swell. Cook fish parcels on a heated barbecue hotplate for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is nearly cooked through. Alternatively, put parcels in an ovenproof dish and cook in an oven preheated to 180°C (fan bake). The only way to know whether the fish is ready is to untie one of the parcels and check; be careful not to overcook the fish, remembering that it will continue to cook as it stands. Serve immediately.

If using smoked garlic salt, omit fresh garlic from recipe.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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