That is one of my fav recipes for cooking fresh fish. It is simple, quick, healthy, light and amazingly tasty when the raw material is excellent. We enjoy it all year round – it is always perfect. However, it is even more suitable for summer, when on a diet or laziness. Any time it is too hot or cold, or the time, the day, the mood does not inspire for long cooking. Super easy oven-baked fish en papillote (=in parchment), with oregano and lemon, succulent and tender, and ready in less than 30 minutes. You will spend 5 minutes at most. And yes, you will love it!
En papillote is the French term for “in the paper” – pronounced on-papiyot. Fish cooked en papillote means to bake a fish (whole or fillets) enveloped inside a pouch or parcel made of folded parchment paper or paper bag or foil.
The ultimate Greek way to cook fresh fish
Less is more proves to be wise and a great asset when you have raw ingredients of the highest quality – in pandespani, we have underlined this smart cooking approach many times. The same applies to the Mediterranean oven-baked fish en papillote with oregano and lemon. The idea is: do it easily by highlighting the raw fresh element. That is all. Do not be tempted for complexity – keep it simple.
Freshness is enough. Add a couple of ingredients either a salad on the side or boiled greens and veggies with lemon or lemon oil sauce (Greek ladolemono). This simplicity is the quintessence of Greekness in a fish dish. And it is the definition of minimalism and deliciousness of the Mediterranean seafood.
Furthermore, baking a fish en papillote ensures that no aroma or flavour will escape from the sealed packet, and the delicate flesh of the fish will remain moist and cooked to perfection.
In this recipe we used a whole fresh sea bass 40 cm long labelled Fish from Greece, weighing about 700 grams. You may also use a sea bream or pagrus or meagre or any other whole fish. Large fish fillets work as well.
It is the ideal quantity for two (as a light but hearty main course, with a salad) or for four in a full menu with several dishes. Of course, if you are a devoted fish eater, fancy it alone.
Above in the photo: Jiddu, the cat of Pandespani. She does not attack the fish platter – it is a matter of class 😉. Instead, she prefers to enjoy the smell and check the doneness of the cooking. A clean bite on her plate is enough for her taste. And a caress or a hug afterwards. Jiddu watches all the food recipes in the making and is a big fan of computers, music, writing and photo editing. 😋💻🎧
Do you like oven-baked fish? Try also the recipe for perfect oven-baked fish – the easiest ever.
We love hearing how it went. Take a minute and leave us a comment 🙂
Simple Mediterranean whole fish en papillote with oregano and lemon
Preparation: 4-5 minutes. Baking: 20 minutes. Make the lemon oil sauce while the fish is in the oven. Bonus: You do not have to wash a pan of baked fish. Easy and quick recipe.
Ingredients (for 2 or 4 people, depending on the menu)
1 whole fish 700-800 gr. cleaned – we used 1 sea bass labelled Fish from Greece
5-6 sprigs of oregano or 1.5-2 tsp dry
1/2 lemon cut into thin slices
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. (1 line) of extra virgin olive oil
For the Greek lemon and olive oil sauce (ladolemono), and the serving
juice and zest of 1 lemon
equivalent or more (from lemon) extra virgin Greek olive oil
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Cut a piece of parchment 10-12 cm longer than the length of the fish.
Preparing the fish: Put the fish in the parchment paper and season well on both sides and inside the belly. Place 3-4 slices of lemon under it and add the rest inside and on top with the sprigs of oregano.
Fold the edges of the paper inwards and turn the fish so that the closure is on top. Tie with twine at both ends and in the middle.
Note: If you do not have twine, use double parchment, closing upwards to prevent liquids from escaping.
Baking: Bake in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes.
To prepare the olive oil and lemon sauce: Beat the lemon juice with the olive oil in a bowl, add salt and pepper, try and adjust seasoning. Add the zest and some oregano leaves.
Serving: A papillote must be opened at the table to allow people to smell the aroma when it opens. Remove the string by cutting it. Transfer the parcel with the fish en papillote on a platter and have ready slices of lemon, lemon oil sauce and oregano leaves to add on top.