Tuesday, June 11, 2013

les poissons sans un sac: fish in a bag, simplified

I have been cooking fish in this way for ages.

I like using this method to cook because (1) it is super healthy since everything is left to steam in the bag; (2) it is easy - once you have cut or sliced your vegetables, you can assemble everything like a production line; (3) it is versatile - just use whatever you happened to have in the fridge; (4) it can be prepared way ahead - make the parcels one day before and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to bake them; (5) and not forgetting,  it is really tasty.

Because this is a mild-tasting dish, I usually serve it with Capsicum Rice. I think the flavour of the rice really goes well with the fish. Of course you can also serve it with plain rice or even couscous if you like.

To start, I sliced the onions, potato and carrots. The vegetables need to roughly be of even thickness so they can finish cooking at the same time.

I trimmed the mushrooms, and left the baby bak choy whole.

Once everything has been cut/trimmed/sliced, assembly can begin.

For the sake of convenience, I used aluminium foil instead of parchment paper. It is not that one is better than the other - it is just that the chances of me finding aluminium foil in the house is way higher. On two sheets of aluminium foil (You can use one if you like - I am just a bit more kiasu), I placed the onions and carrots.

Then I added the potatoes and mushrooms.

And the baby bak choy. Do not put too much vegetables as they bag may burst if it is too full.

I used frozen Sutchi fish fillets which I had thawed, but any white fish fillets will do the job.

I seasoned the fish with a good pinch of Kosher salt (use Maldon salt flakes if you do not have Kosher salt). If you are using table salt, use a smaller pinch. I also added a good pinch of coarsely grounded black pepper and some fresh dill. I like fresh herbs, but feel free to substitute with dried dill. If you are using dried dill, halve the amount of dill.

I lifted the two longer sides so that they met at the middle. I folded this twice. Then I folded one of the shorter ends twice, leaving one end opened.

I lifted the aluminium bag, and poured the white wine (I used Chardonnay), and low-sodium chicken stock into the bag.

Carefully, I folded and sealed the end.

The bags were placed on a baking tray and baked for about 20 minutes. Once the fish is cooked, it is done.

Before eating, open the bag very carefully - it is VERY hot.

I cooked Capsicum Rice to go with the fish. I like to cook flavoured rice whenever I serve rice with any Western dishes. It is easy to cook, and it complements most Western dishes.

In a saucepan, I heated some extra virgin olive oil. I placed a nob of butter into the oil. The oil prevents the butter from burning. Once the butter had mostly melted, I added the finely diced onion. I cooked the onions for a minute or so to soften them.

The finely diced red capsicum was added and this was cooked for a further two minutes.

Then I added the rice (I used Jasmine rice but you can also use Basmatic rice or any long-grain rice) which had been washed and drained. I also added a pinch of salt.

The rice was stirred around until the grains had been coated with the butter/oil.

Then I placed the rice and all into a rice cooker, added water and pressed the COOK button.

A simple but nutritious dinner!

Fish in a Bag (Serves 4)

4 white fish fillets, washed and trimmed
1 onion, thinly sliced*
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced*
1 carrot, peeled and sliced*
1 pack mushrooms, trimmed*
1 bunch baby bak choy, washed and drained*
1 cup white wine, divided into 4 portions
1 cup chicken stock, divided into 4 portions
Salt, to taste (good quality salt)
Coarsely grounded black pepper, to taste
1 bunch of fresh dill leaves (or 2 tsp dried dill), divided into 4 portions

*Can be substituted with any other vegetables.

1. On 2 sheets of aluminium foil, place some onion, carrot, mushroom, potatoes and baby bak choy.
2. Place a piece of fish fillet on the vegetables.
3. Season with salt, pepper and dill.
4. Lift the longer sides of foil to meet in the middle. Fold to seal.
5. Seal one shorter end.
6. Pour white wine and chicken stock into bag. Seal the last end.
7. Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes, till the fish is cooked.
8. Serve hot.

Capsicum Rice (Serves 4)

2 cups long grain rice, washed and drained
2 cups water
1 small onion, finely diced
1 red capsicum, de-seeded and finely diced.
20 g butter (unsalted)
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt

1. Saute onions in butter and extra virgin olive oil for a minute.
2. Add red capsicum and saute for another two minutes.
3. Add rice and salt. Stir to mix.
4. Place rice and capsicum mixture into rice cooker.
5. Add water. Cook.

Totally Tasty Tuesdays


  1. I like using this method to cook design a carrier bag because (1) it is super healthy since everything is left to steam in the bag; (2) it is easy - once you have cut or sliced your vegetables,

    1. Hi Elizabeth, sorry it took me so long to respond - I only just saw your comment! I totally agree with you. This method of cooking is definitely super easy, and healthy!