If you’re not too sure how to cook fish properly, then this is the dish for you.
This almost fool-proof recipe (unless you have a temperamental oven!) does not require fancy ingredients or complicated cooking methods. Just let the oven do the work for you and be amazed by the flavours you’ll soon have on your plate.
It’s a perfect dish for this time of year, the beginning of spring, when our bodies are longing for lighter food. The garlic, ginger and chili used in the recipe have a stimulating and cleansing effect on our digestion. So, step away from the meat and serve up these yummie, easy-to-digest fish parcels with a simple side salad or some spicy stir-fried vegetables.
You can adjust the flavours to your liking of course using different vegetables and/or spices. But the combination of ingredients below works very well and should be easy to get from any super market.
It would be a good idea to opt for fish which is wild, not farmed, and which has been caught sustainably. You can ask your fish mongers for this or check the label of the fish you intend to buy. Look for ‘MSC-certified’ specifically.
Although looks may be deceiving, farmed fish does not have the same health benefits as wild fish. Whereas wild fish contains an abundance of omega 3 oils which are great for heart & brain health, farmed fish usually doesn’t. Farmed fish is often fed an unnatural diet and may contain antibiotics or other contaminant and additives. It’s a definite no no for me.
Flavour-wise wild fish always wins too. So, if you’re looking to impress yourself or guests, just get the best fish you can get. It will be worth it for the taste AND the health benefits.
Ingredients for four fish parcels
4 fish fillets
2.5 cm ginger, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium red chilli, finely chopped
Juice of a large lime
4-6 tbsp of tamari sauce or soya sauce (I use tamari)
200 g mangetouts
200 g tender stem or purple sprouting broccoli, roughly chopped
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Lay each fish fillet on a square piece of tin foil or baking paper (the square should be at least twice the size of the fillet). Evenly spread the ginger, garlic, chili and lime juice over the fillets. Scatter the vegetables on top and pour the tamari sauce over the vegetables.
Now gather up the edges of the foil or baking paper and seal them together (tightly closed with no gaps) to make a parcel. Your fish is now ready to steam in it’s own juices.
Transfer to a baking tin and cook for 15-25 minutes depending on thickness and type of fish. Please check your fish after 12-15 minutes to see if it is cooked through. It should be succulent and ‘flaky’ in the middle (no longer raw in the thickest area). If not, re-close your parcel and steam for another five minutes and check it again. If the fish is cooked for too long, it can turn dry so rather keep checking it every five minutes than leave it for too long.
Happy spring, everyone! See below for information on my next Weekend Nutrition Course.
Kay van Beersum
Kay is a qualified and registered nutritional therapist and co-author of Bear Grylls’ nutrition bible Fuel for Life, available at a ranger of retailers including The Hungerford Bookshop. Kay teaches local Weekend Nutrition Courses. The next one is 29 & 30 April. Click here for details.
Photo credit: Emma Myrtle (portrait of Bear and Kay)