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Halibut en papillote

You can cook the fish en papillote— enclosed in a parcel made of either aluminum foil or parchment paper—but if you have neither, you can use an ovenproof baking dish with a tightly sealed lid. If you want to double-check the fish’s doneness in the parcel, you can do so by delicately inserting a long, thin metal skewer through the side of the foil or parchment paper and feeling the temperature of the skewer against your wrist.



  • 4 halibut fillets (7 ounces each), skinned, at room temperature
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, halved through the core and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves, chiffonade-cut


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut four 12 × 16-inch pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil or parchment paper. Fold each piece in half on a large work surface to form a 12 × eight-inch rectangle, then open each like a book.
  3. Season the halibut fillets with sea salt and white pepper.
  4. Working on the right-hand side of each sheet, set four or five slices of onion on the foil or parchment, leaving a one-inch border. Top the onions with tomato slices and lightly season with sea salt and white pepper.
  5. Place the seasoned halibut fillets on top of the tomatoes. Crimp the right-hand edges of the foil or parchment around the halibut to form a boat for the liquid, then pour three tablespoons of the wine and one tablespoon of the olive oil into each packet.
  6. Fold the left side of the foil or parchment over the fish and crimp the edges tightly to contain the liquid. Transfer the packets to a large sheet pan.
  7. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes; the parcel should puff up as the steam fills it. Remove the packets from the oven and rest for two to three minutes. Open one box carefully, as steam will escape. Insert a metal skewer into the thickest part of the fish for five seconds; it should feel warm when touched to the wrist. If It isn’t, reseal the parcel and continue steaming a few minutes longer. 
  8. When the halibut is finished steaming, transfer each fillet to a warm plate, then spoon the cooked onions and tomatoes over and around the fish. Pour the liquid from the parcel over the fish, garnish with basil, and serve immediately. (Transfer the packets to plates and serve directly on the foil.) Enjoy!

They are excerpted from Seafood Simple by Eric Ripert. Copyright © 2023 by Eric Ripert. Photographs by Nigel Parry. Published by Appetite, by Random House®, a Penguin Random House Canada Limited division. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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