Pamela Salzman's Fish in Parchment

Pamela Salzman's fish in parchment, also known in fancier terms as 'fish en papillote,' is a deceptively simple dish that will totally wow you. We chose to make this dish bright with Mediterranean flavors, but you can really adapt it to whatever tastes you desire.

We love this technique because it's restaurant quality but super simple to implement in your own home kitchen. You just need some parchment paper--unbleached is preferred--and some base flavor profiles to make the dish come to life. Some other combinations that could work include: bok choy with soy sauce and slivered ginger for an Asian twist // saffron, carrot and fennel for a Middle Eastern twist

HOW YOU GLOW // Pamela Salzman's Fish in Parchment from How You Glow on Vimeo.





  • 1 Tablespoon unrefined, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halves
  • 2 Tablespoons capers, drained
  • a handful of mixed fresh herbs (I like to use mostly parsley with a little basil
  • and mint mixed in)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt + extra for seasoning fish
  • a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper to taste + extra for seasoning fish
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 4 filets of wild halibut or sole
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter or unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 teaspoons dry white wine
  • 4 12-inch squares of unbleached parchment



  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add sliced garlic, red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is fragrant and almost golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes, capers and fresh herbs, salt and pepper.
  2. Place 1⁄2 cup spinach leaves in the center of each piece of parchment paper. Arrange each piece of fish on top of the spinach and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
  3. Top each filet with a fourth of the tomato mixture, 1 teaspoon of butter or oil, and 2 teaspoons wine.
  4. Bring 2 opposite sides of the parchment together and fold. Continue to fold all the way down until you reach the fish. Twist both ends of the parchment so that it looks like a hard candy wrapper. Repeat for each piece of fish. Place each packet on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes based on the thickness of the fish.
  5. Transfer each packet to a plate and use caution when opening – the steam will be very hot!


Photography & Video by: Sasha Young