Ginger Fish in a Packet

You wouldn’t believe how often I get questions about how to cook fish; it’s still one of those foods that makes people a little nervous. They either think 1) their house is going to smell awful or 2) fish cookery is terribly complicated. If you’re among the skeptics, I’m about to dispel your fears.

This recipe is quick, fragrant, and nearly mess-free! You’re going to cook a mild fish in foil or parchment packets with aromatic additions like ginger, soy, garlic, sesame oil, and sherry. If you haven’t cooked with these ingredients before, you are in for a treat! These classic Asian flavors smell amazing – certainly nothing like the fish sticks of your childhood.

I’m recommending tilapia here because it’s ubiquitous these days, but you can use any mild white fish like sea bass, branzino, flounder, or red snapper if you’d prefer. Once you get the packets assembled, you’re 12 minutes away from dinner. That just might make you a fish cooking convert!


Ginger Fish in a Packet

serves 4



1 carrot

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced

1 1/3 pounds skinless tilapia fillets, cut into 4 portions

2 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

1 tablespoon dry sherry



1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Fold four 20-inch long pieces of foil or parchment in half.

2.  Using a vegetable peeler, shave the carrot into long strips.  Divide carrot into four portions, and mound each portion in the center of each piece of foil.  Divide the ginger, garlic, and mushrooms equally among the packets and place on top of the carrots.  Place a piece of fish on top of the vegetables.  Arrange the scallions on top.

3.  Combine the soy sauce, oil, and sherry.  Pour over the portions of fish.  Close the packets with tight folds.

4.  Arrange, uncrowded, in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake.  A 3/4 – 1 inch fillet will take about 12 minutes to bake.  Cut an X in each packet to release steam and place on individual dinner plates. Voila!

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