Orange Sesame Salmon and Asparagus En Papillote

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Can we talk about fish? It's so good for you. And so tasty.

You know what else is awesome? Speaking French. For example, say "En Papillote." Thrilling, isn't it? Don't you feel like a chef, right out of Ratatouille (or perhaps a more sophisticated movie, which is... er... slipping my mind). So, did you do it? Did you say En Papillote? Good. Want to know what it means? It's very deep and meaningful. You might want to take your seat for this one... Drumroll please!

It means in parchment. Another translation has En Papillote meaning "You Still Look Good In Your Bikini." See, I told you it was deep and meaningful.

In all seriousness (which is hard for me right now), dishes baked in parchment are lighter and healthier than their pan-and-butter-baked counterparts. Instead of filling a pan or casserole dish with butter, oil, and various other unmentionable caloric offenders, this method of cooking uses the moisture from the food, itself, to cook the meal, along with a very small amount of added flavorings.

No, there is no butter. Fats and cholesterol need not apply. We're not hiring.

P.S. You can play peek-a-boo with your food! I asked your mom. She gave you permission. Now you see it(above)... Now you don't(below)... Why yes, I am a magician! 

And, for those of you who enjoy food porn (admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery), here are the shots! Scroll to the end for the recipe.

Orange Ginger Salmon En Papillote

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Adapted from: This Recipe

  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger (the fresher the better)
  • 3 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Orange Juice
  • 1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil (and additional Olive Oil for brushing packets)
  • 2 tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Yellow Pepper, sliced into long, thin pieces
  • 4 pieces of Salmon
  • Parchment paper

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Make the marinade. Combine orange zest, ginger, soy sauce, orange juice, rice vinegar, olive oil, and sesame seeds and set the mixture aside.
  3. Prep the pouches of parchment paper. Depending on the width of your paper, you may have more or less to work with. Make sure that one side is at least 15 or 16 inches long and that the second side is at least 10 inches long (the wider the paper, the better!). Fold each paper in half.
  4. Fill the parchment pouches. Evenly divide vegetables and place them in the center of each piece of parchment paper. Use a tablespoon to spoon a bit (about 1 tbsp) of the marinade mixture on top of the vegetables. Then place one piece of salmon on top of each pile of vegetables.
  5. Fold the parchment pouches. Fold two sides up to meet in the center and overlap them, folding/rolling down toward the fish. Then, make small, overlapping folds on each of the two remaining sides to close the pouch. Place pouches in a casserole dish to bake. Don't worry! This doesn't have to be exact or beautiful!
  6. Brush olive oil over the top of each parchment pouch.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the parchment paper begins to brown (which will happen because of the olive oil). Remove and transfer to dishes. Cut the pouches open (or unroll them if you're brave!) and let steam escape before serving each pouch to a guest!

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