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Cod en Papillote or Fish in Parchment

Cod en Papillote or fish baked in parchment paper, I use loin in this recipe and combine it with ginger, lime, garlic and chilli pepper.

This classic French technique results in the juiciest fish and it is incredibly quick, prep takes 10 minutes and cooking just another 10-12, making it a great midweek dinner.

Overhead Cod loin cooked en papillote with Asian flavours.

Fish en Papillote

I adore cooking with and eating fish, and cod or similar white fish is one of my favourites to cook and eat.

I have everything from bacon wrapped cod loin and cod pasta to beer battered cod tacos and Thai green cod curry to an Amritsari fish fry!

However, fish is often seen by many as being difficult to cook, often unfairly but that it is the rep!

Cooking this cod en papillote is arguably the simplest way to cook fish.

It is quick but relatively gentle, which means that the fish stays beautifully moist.

Baking it in the oven also means that you have pretty solid control over the temperature, which again adds a “safety net” against overcooking.

My version of this dish rocks some Asian inspired flavouring, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chilli do the heavy lifting. Then sesame oil, fish sauce, lime and rice wine vinegar provide the seasoning.

However the fish has a really subtle flavour, so these are all designed to season and let the flavour of the cod shine through.

If you like gently cooked fish be sure to check out my cod poached in coconut milk!

Cod loin cooked en papillote served with sweet chilli noodles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of fish?

Yes absolutely! This recipe works really well with all big chunky white fish loin, pollock, hake or whiting, haddock and halibut all work really well.

You can even do this with whole fish, something like sea bass or trout are great. Although you will need to cook it for around 25 minutes.

Can I use skin on fish?

You can, but as a result of the cooking technique, the skin can be a bit too wet and slimy for some people.

However it does help the fish hold together well, and you can remove it easily after cooking.

Can I add vegetables to the packet?

Yes, but make sure they are things that would cook quickly. Green beans, pak choi and tenderstem broccoli are particularly good.

Can I scale this up?

Yes, and the cooking time is not impacted buy doing this.

However, I find personally find making parcels with more than a couple of pieces of fish awkward. As a result, if I am cooking for more than two people I simply make more parcels.

Can I use tin foil?

Yup, no problem at all, in fact, it makes sealing the parcel a little easier.

Cod loin cooked en papillote with Asian flavours.

Serving Suggestions

This simple and healthy cod en papillote recipe is perfect served with a host of side dishes. It is pictured below served with my sweet chilli noodles recipe, although it would be great with my sweet and sour noodles or soba noodle salad!

If noodles ain’t your thing then this is also great served with rice, the flavours are subtle so you want rice with some flavour. Something like egg fried rice is perfect!

Adding stir-fried vegetables is also a great idea!

Something like stir-fried broccoli or asparagus stir fry work particularly well for a light healthy meal.

If you want a mix of veggies, this mixed vegetable stir fry would be great!

Overhead cod loin cooked en papillote served with sweet chilli noodles.

Equipment Used

I usually do not recommend specific brands of equipment unless I think that it makes a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments section.

  • Baking parchment.
  • Sharp kitchen knife.
  • Cutting board.
  • Oven.
Cod loin cooked en papillote with garlic, ginger, chilli, fish sauce and rice wine vinegar.
Yield: 2 Servings

Cod en Papillote Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

Cod en papillote, classic French technique combined with Asian flavours, rice wine, fish sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and chilli all offer subtle flavouring to perfectly cooked fish!


  • 2 Pieces Skinless Cod Loin
  • 1 Lime
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Stick Lemongrass
  • 30g (Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
  • 1 Mild Red Chilli Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • ½ Tbsp Sesame Oil


  1. Cut two squares of baking parchment 20 around 30cm or 12".
  2. Cut the lime into slices 4-5mm (~¼") thick.
  3. Bash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife, don't bother peeling them.
  4. Bash the lemongrass with the blunt side of a knife to bruise it.
  5. Thinly slice the ginger (2-3mm or ~⅛") thick, do not bother peeling it.
  6. Deseed the chilli and cut it into strips as finely as you can.
  7. Place a square of baking parchment on a baking tray then add the lime slices followed by the ginger slices. Arrange them in two strips roughly the same size as the pieces of cod.
  8. Place the garlic cloves and stick of lemongrass in the middle, fold the lemongrass in half if needed.
    Sprinkle over the red chilli.
  9. Pour over the fish sauce, rice wine and sesame oil.
  10. Place the second piece of baking parchment on top then seal by rolling the edges up to form a parcel.
  11. Place the fish in the oven and cook at 180C or 350F for 10-12 minutes.
  12. Drizzle the cooking juices over the fish when you serve it.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 1575mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 48g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Kelly Anthony

Monday 6th of August 2018

Cooking the whole fish always seems so intimidating but you have made it look simple and easy. Can't wait to tackle this one.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 7th of August 2018

It really is very simple and in many ways easier than cooking fillets of fish as the 'bulk' help protect against over cooking.


Monday 6th of August 2018

I love the flavors you're using here. I'm lucky that I have access to all the banana leaves I want! Not sure why I've never used them before. Great recipe!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 7th of August 2018

Thank you :)


Monday 6th of August 2018

I love fish cooked in papillote and I am not worried about the eyes, at all. Actually, the cheeks are delicious. The first time I cooked a trout in a parcel for my Irish husband he was amazed I was sealing the parchment paper with a stapler. LOL I never used Asian flavors so I will try your recipe for a change. Sounds nice and fresh. Plenty of sea bass here in Italy (on vacation). Envious yet?

Brian Jones

Tuesday 7th of August 2018

Fish cheeks most certainly are delicious, as they are on most animals. I used to be able to get cod cheeks really cheaply from the fish market in Brimingham but even before I left the UK 10 years ago they had become enormously expensive. As for jealous, not at all... No, really.... Honest ;)

Amy | The Cook Report

Monday 6th of August 2018

I love simple fish dishes like this, they really let the fish shine. This one looks so fresh and delicious!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 7th of August 2018

Me too, it certainly ticks the simple but tasty box.


Monday 6th of August 2018

What a great way to cook fish. So simple and a lovely light summer dish.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 7th of August 2018

Thanks Dannii

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