Fish in a bag

This dish doesn’t have a sexy title, I admit that. From the unwrapping of the parcel on your plate to the fragrant Thai sauce and flaky fish, it just doesn’t need one. Plus who doesn’t love not having to wash the plate up afterwards? However it’s not uncommon to rip through the layers of paper with your spoon trying to scrape those last drips of sauce.

   Photo 03-05-2013 21 11 42

Whenever I think of this dish the voice in my head puts it to the tune of a certain Justin Timberlake’s ‘It’s my **** in a box’ (please don’t be reading this mum!). If you know what I’m talking about then me and you are going to get on just fine. And if not then here comes some young Justin Timberlake education for you.

Less of the Justin Timberlake (unless you still want more) and onto the fish in a bag…

This dish is based on simple fresh ingredients and packs a definite flavor punch. Lets gather our ingredients!


Crunchy asparagus and broccoli meats our salmon, all combined together with the slight spice of red Thai paste and tangy creme freiche. Lime and lemon juice are thrown in for good measure.


After we add our cooled potatoes we’re ready for the assembly. While slightly daunting at first these parcels come together in a flash. If you don’t have an extra helping pair of hands (which I never do…hint hint) then loop the string round your wrist to make it easy tie on while you’re holding the parcel together.


One of the most satisfying feelings is opening these parcels to see the fish perfectly cooked and the Thai sauce glistening. Open, inhale and enjoy.


Serves 2


250ml creme freiche

3 teaspoons Red Thai paste

Juice of one lime

Juice of half a lemon

2 salmon fillets, skinned and de-boned

6 asparagus spears

4 tender stem broccoli spears

8 small new potatoes, halved

2 x 40cm string (roughly) soaked in water


  1. Pre-heat oven at 180 (350F) and ensure there is plenty of room to place the bags inside.
  2. Put the potato halves in a sauce pan, salt and cover with boiling water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. We still want them firm. Once they have cooked for 5 minutes drain and set aside.
  3. Cut the asparagus and broccoli spears into 1 inch lengths and place them in a bowl. Slice the salmon into large dices (about 2cm by 2 cm) and added to the bowl with the asparagus and broccoli. Take the cooled potatoes, half them again and place into the same bowl.
  4. To the bowl add the creme freiche, red Thai paste, lime juice, lemon juice and little pinch of both salt and pepper. Mix well so all ingredients are coated.
  5. For each parcel you need two rectangular pieces of parchment paper. Place the long pieces of parchment paper into a cross shape and pile the filling evenly between the two crosses. Gather the edges together to create the parcel shape and tie the wetted string around the neck securely.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes in the oven. Check salmon is cooked after 20 minutes, if it needs longer put in back in the over for just a few minutes.
  7. Take to the table still tied and let guests unwrap the parcels at the table. Enjoy!

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