The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - The Telegraph Magazine

Sea bass en papillote with ginger, soy and Shaoxing wine


Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 2

This is the absolute opposite of the chicken dish. It is very restrained. Simple too.


– 1 tbsp groundnut oil

– 10g unsalted butter

– 60g carrots, julienned

– 85g leeks, julienned

– 2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchstick­s

– 1 garlic clove, grated to a purée

– 150g shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

– 2 x 120g sea bass fillets

For the sauce

– 2½ tbsp toasted sesame oil

– 2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchstick­s

– 2½ tbsp Shaoxing wine or dry sherry

– 2 tsp soy sauce

– ½ tsp soft light-brown sugar or caster sugar


Cut out four squares of greaseproo­f paper, each 36 x 40cm. Set them on top of each other in pairs to make two double-layered squares. Brush the middle of each top layer with some of the oil or some of the butter, melted.

Heat half of the remaining oil and butter together in a small frying pan and sauté the carrots until they’re softening. Add the leeks, ginger, garlic and some seasoning. Cook until everything is quite soft then transfer to a bowl.

Heat the rest of the oil and butter and quickly sauté the mushrooms until well coloured. Mushrooms throw out a lot of liquid – cook over a high heat to make this evaporate or the dish will be watery. Season.

For the sauce, heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan and add the ginger. Cook gently for two minutes, then add the other ingredient­s and stir together.

Heat the oven to 190C/ 180C fan/gas mark 5.

Divide the vegetables between the double-layered paper squares. Place the fish on top and season. Pull up the long sides of each parcel, divide the sauce between them, then bring the edges together and fold them over to seal and make a tent. Seal each end by folding and tucking the paper securely underneath, trying not to let the liquid run out.

Transfer the parcels to a baking sheet with a lip and bake for 12 minutes. Carefully open the parcels to check the fish is cooked, then reseal. Lift the parcels on to plates and open them at the table.

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