Jun 17, 2015

Salmon En Papillote with Ginger and Sesame Sauce

I grew up in the tiny island of Marinduque, one of the 7,100+ islands of the Philippine archipelago. We literally lived a few steps away from the beach. As you can imagine, we were blessed with the freshest catch of the day. The fisher folks, after a long night of fishing out in the sea, often came  to our doorstep selling their best catch. Below is a photo of my little boy taken a few years ago with a fish vendor, perhaps he was haggling for a good price!

The funny thing is growing up, I never really liked fish even though we had them in abundance. I ate them then but not with so much pleasure. But when I lived in Michigan for over 10 years - I began missing eating fish. I supposed because suddenly fresh fish (like straight from the ocean "fresh") wasn't readily available in the land surrounded by lake waters. My body began to crave it so much that whenever we saw fish on sale at the grocery - we had to buy some. Perhaps my body was aching for iodine or other nutrients in the salt-water fish which was constantly supplied when I was back home.

Thankfully, we are now in the land where fish is aplenty! I still probably won't get it as fresh as a doorstep delivery but the fact that we have more choices and they are more accessible is good enough for me. Salmon has become our fall back fish (though I still occasionally miss eating my mom's dish using our national fish - Lapu-Lapu (Grouper) - named after a Datu (tribe leader) and first Filipino hero who resisted Spanish colonization and killed Ferdinand Magellan).

I love cooking Salmon because it's such an easy fish to prep, so very tasty, healthy and I have never failed in cooking it. Proof - out of the 6 fish recipes I have on the blog (including this one) 3 are salmon dishes because it's not a complicated fish to experiment on. I know cooking fish can be daunting for some - but trust me, Salmon is your best choice for trying fish cooking for the first time! Swordfish...hmmm. I still need to perfect the timing for that!

This recipe is super-easy, I cannot believe that I haven't tried this French technique years ago. But, it's better late than never. The idea is to cook food (fish or chicken, etc) inside a paper packet (or foil). The trapped steam lends moisture to the Salmon while all the juices and flavor are also mingled and swept into the fish as there's no escape inside the packet and the result is the tenderest and tastiest fish! I ate an 8 oz salmon all on my own as it was so good! For the sauce, I used a mixture of honey, sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine and some ginger placed on top of the fish - ingredients I used as sauce when I steam fish. It worked as perfectly here as with the steamed fish. Hope you try this and love it as much as my kids did - yes,  my kids totally loved this Salmon dish and for kids to actually love fish is something you don't often hear so it's worth a try if only to get your kids to try fish!

Salmon en Papillote with Ginger and Sesame Sauce

This is the tastiest and juiciest Salmon dish ever! Baked en papillote (in parchment) flavored with ginger and sesame sauce - this baked salmon is the ultimate fish dish for my family!


  • 2 Tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Rice wine or Sherry
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 teaspoons Sesame oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 (6-8 oz) Salmon Fillets
  • 3-inch Ginger, peeled and thinly sliced then divided into 4 portions
  • A bunch of cilantro or 4 green Onions or Scallions, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 Celsius).
  2. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and honey. Rice wine may be replaced with 3 tablespoons rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon water.
  3. Cut up 4 pieces of parchment paper (or foil) measuring more or less 12 x 12 inches. In the middle of the paper where you will place the fish, sprinkle a little salt and pepper.
  4. Place each salmon fillet in the middle of the prepared parchment. On top of the fish, place the sliced ginger and 3-4 cilantro sprigs or chopped green onions. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the soy-sesame sauce. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper on top, if desired.
  5. Bring the sides of the parchment paper towards the middle and then crimp the edges securely ensuring that no liquid drips out. This will also assure that no steam escapes from the paper while baking. Place the parchment packets in a baking sheet and transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes before opening the packets. Fish is done when it flakes easily. Serve immediately and enjoy totally!
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes

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  1. I love these Asian flavors paired with salmon---so tasty! And cooking en papillote is definitely a wonderful way to prepare fish!

  2. Looks sooo delicious!! I love salmon in anyway :)

  3. I love all these flavors and the spices, looks marvelous!

  4. I love all these flavors and the spices, looks marvelous, Abigail!

  5. I too was not a fish fan as a child--unless it was breaded and fried lol. And now I love most seafood. Funnily enough salmon remains the exception--BUT this method is so awesome I know it would be great with a white fish too. Pinned!

  6. Abby,
    I stock up on parchment because it is the magic ingredient to a G-rated homemade pizza experience. I've never tried to use it with fish, and should change that--I'm glad to play with the ginger in my crisper and bet it gives wonderful flavor to the fish.

  7. I've always said that I'd love to live on a coast for that exact reason - fresh as can be fish and seafood (which I adore). Salmon en papillote is one of my favorite meals, and I just adore the flavors you've put into yours - sounds incredibly tasty!

  8. Dear Abigail, salmon is one of my favorites too. This sounds like a wonderful dish...I love that fresh ginger. xo, Catherine

  9. Wow love these flavors!! Ginger is one of my favorite ingredients

  10. This sounds like a great meal idea for the whole family. Salmon is so much healthier than huge burgers. Great recipe.


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