I've always loved steamed fish, but don't seem to make it very often. Until I remember to use parchment paper to bundle up some fish and some savory seasonings and then bake it in the oven. It's such a delicate way to make fish and it is so good! For this particular recipe, I seasoned the fish with butter, salt and lemon and added in some onions and sliced fennel along with some fresh dill. All that is required is that you wrap up the bundle, tying the ends of the parchment like a candy wrapper and then bake it in a hot oven for about 10 - 15 minutes. Then you unwrap (or cut) the wrapper on your plate and the wonderful steamed fish is revealed. Cooking fish this way creates a lovely sauce and it's like a lovely present. Serve it with a leafy Kale or and Tomato Salad and you have a perfect light summer meal.
Sole Baked in Parchment
2 pounds Dover Sole Filets
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 small Onion, sliced
1/2 Fennel Bulb, sliced
One Lemon cut into 4 wedges
Salt to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut Parchment Paper from the roll into 4 large sheets (or use the precut kind for cookie sheets). Place one sheet on the cookie sheet and fill with 1/4 of the fish. Cut the Dover Sole Filets into 3 inch pieces. Top with 1/4 of the onion slices and the fennel. Squeeze one lemon wedge over it and top with the side of butter. Season with salt. Bring up two opposite sides of the paper together and fold over about 1/2 inch and repeat until you nearly reach the top of the fish. Then take one side and wrap tightly, like a candy wrapper, then the other side. Then wrap the remaining fish.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes (10 minutes for thinner fillets, up to 15 minutes for thicker pieces). Serve immediately giving each person a packet on their plate with a pair of scissors to cut them open.
Five Element Analysis
Steaming is a Watery method of cooking and fish of all kinds belongs to the Water Element, so this dish covers that element thoroughly. The Onion and Fennel contribute the Metal Element. The lemon adds just a hint of Wood so adding a leafy Kale Salad with Tomatoes contributes some of the Wood Element and the Fire Element. Add a sweet dessert and you have a balanced meal.