Red Snapper en Papillote

Red Snapper en Papillote Recipe

Today I cooked a freshly caught whole red snapper en papillote. The preparation is ultra easy. Simply combine garlicky, spicy (my homemade chile garlic sauce), slightly sweet (Jack Daniel's grilling sauce), salty and fatty ingredients (oil or butter) to make the marinade. Cover the fish with the sauce and after a 30-minute steam in the oven, you'll have a healthy and tasty meal. You'll also have time to do something else (in my case play with my 5-month-old infant daughter!).  

Spending less time in the kitchen doesn't necessarily means eating a less delicious meal!


Yields: 2 servings

1 whole red snapper
1 tablespoon homemade habanero chile garlic sauce (click on the link for the recipe)
8 green onions (white part only), cut in half, lengthwise
2 lemons, freshly squeezed
1 to 1-½ cups chicken broth, as needed
3 tablespoons grilling sauce (or any sauce)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch sweet basil leaves, (about a cup)
½ onion, cut into thin wedges
1 fennel bulb, cut into thin wedges
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced on the bias
2 teaspoons pink, green and black peppercorn medley, freshly cracked


Marinating the red snapper: 

Line a baking sheet with a large sheet of parchment paper. Cover with the fennel, carrots, onion and green onions.

Ask your fishmonger to prep the fish. Make sure the fish skin is scaled. Wash and pat dry using paper towels. Place the fish in a small, shallow dish. Drizzle with the juice of 1 lemon.

In a small bowl, combine the grilling sauce, remaining lemon juice, the peppercon medley and chile garlic sauce.

Pat dry the fish again with paper towels. With a sharp knife, make 4-5 deep parallel incisions into the flesh of the fish using a sharp knife. Season with kosher salt and red chili powder on both sides. Place the red snapper onto the baking sheet. Spoon the the marinade over the fish. Make sure it coats the fish well. Drizzle with a tablespoon of oil evenly in the dish.  

Wrap the fish papillote-style

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Top the fish with basil leaves and slices of the jalapeño pepper. Cover the bottom of the pan with chicken broth. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Seal the sides by twisting and folding both sheets together. Place the fish in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Decrease the temperature to  425°F and continue cooking an additional 20-25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the fish onto a platter. Let the fish rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Bon appétit!


You can use any other white fish such as cod or flounder.

When buying the fish, ask your fishmonger to gut and scale it for you. Also ask him to remove the head and tail.

I wrapped the fish papillote-style. The exact term used is called "en papillote". The material generally used is parchment paper but you could also use aluminum foil. Make sure to use heavy duty aluminum foil to prevent the sheets from tearing too easily.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on April 11, 2012.


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