Friday, August 19, 2011

Tilapia En Papillote

Sounds fancy, no?

But when you learn that en papillote simply means in foil/in parchment, then it seems less sophisticated. This method of cooking entails placing the food in a pouch and then baking it.

Tilapia en papillote

At home, tilapia is most often fried. But this is such a pedestrian way to cook this fish. I tried baking it once, simply placing them on a baking sheet. The result was dried out fish.

Then I learned that in order to retain its moisture, the fish can be cooked en papillote. Which was what I did for dinner tonight. I used whole tilapia instead of fillets. This time, the result was moist and perfectly cooked fish.

Tilapia En Papillote
4 large tilapia, halved 
4 tomatoes, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
white pepper
vegetable oil, for drizzling
dried basil

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Clean the halved tilapia and pat dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
2. Slice the tomatoes and the onion. Season with salt and pepper as well.
3. Cut a piece of parchment paper that is 4 inches wider than the fish. Fold the parchment in half to create a crease, then open it up again.
4. Place the fish and a few slices of onion and tomatoes on one side. Sprinkle a generous pinch of dried basil and drizzle some oil. Fold the other half of the parchment over the fish and seal the edges to create a pouch. Repeat for each piece of fish.
5. Place the pouches on  a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.

Tomatoes and Onions

Assembling the dish

The tilapia pouch

They're ready for the oven

Cooked Tilapia

Happy cooking!


  1. Easy to make, delicious in taste! Thanks for sharing!

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