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Steamed Fish en Papillote


Steamed Fish en Papillote

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Gong Xi Fa Cai to those that celebrate Chinese New Year! This year is the year of Ox. The Ox is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. This powerful sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things.

Are you interested to what does 2009 hold for you? The following is what I got off from this website. To know your animal sign, please click here.

People born in the year of OX:

People Born in the Year of the OX are stable, strong, dutiful, reliable, tenacious, practical, industrious, determined, honest, loyal, sincere, persevering and down to earth and tolerant. They can sometimes be lonely but they form firm bonds with home and family. The OX people cherish their private lives and are not usually very adventurous. They can be loners. They know the way to succeed is by a slow, steady, sustained effort. OX people are great traditionalists, they like the familiar.

If you were born in the year of the RAT:

This year is a stable year for family life and will be a joyful year. Career wise the rats will take on more responsibilities and will feel the pressure of the extra duties. A good year of steady progress.

If you were born in the year of the TIGER:

This is the year for keeping a low profile, tigers. Because of the slow pace of the OX year, it will be a frustrating time for you. You like things to be move quicker, you will need to show restraint.

If you were born in the year of the RABBIT:

The year of the OX is well suited to the rabbit nature. The slower pace of this year will see you spending more time with friends and family. A good year to upgrade your home, or for buying or selling a house.

If you were born in the year of the DRAGON:

In business and in romance your word for this year is integrity. Keep your head down and you will make steady progress this year. Established relationships will be comfortable and easy during this year of the OX. A slow but sure progress will be made.

If you were born in the year of the SNAKE:

A very good year for snakes! The steady pace of the OX year is well suited to the snake person. Act on an opportunity – this is your year.

If you were born in the year of the HORSE:

Although you are rearing to surge ahead, this is another year of caution for the horse. Not a good year to strike out in new directions, consolidate your positions instead. On the brighter side, love will bring comfort this year.

If you were born in the year of the SHEEP:

The Ox is the direct opposite of the sheep, therefore expect challenges in all areas this year. Keep a low profile.

If you were born in the year of the MONKEY:

This is a year of moderate progress for monkeys. Work will slow down this year allowing the monkey more personal time. It also allows for quality time with friends and family.

If you were born in the year of the ROOSTER:

Great opportunities for rooster this year. A good time to recoup losses. You will make great progress at work, reaping rewards of your labor. Emotional ties bring joy. Your prestige and reputation increase.

If you were born in the year of the DOG:

A year for dogs to keep a low profile. Put more attention into matters at home, spending quality time with loved ones. The simple pleasures will bring happiness this year.

If you were born in the year of the PIG:

A year for the pig to follow his/her instinct, laying foundations for the future. This is a bright and hopeful year for the pig. Do not take unnecessary risks though.

For this Chinese New Year, I want to share a steamed fish recipe. The word ‘fish’ – “Yu” (?) sounds like the word ? which means abundance. Serving a fish dish symbolizes a wish for abundance in the coming year. I made this slightly different by adopting French method – en papillote’ that means ‘in parchment’, but with Chinese ingredients.  So, I wish you an abundance year ahead!

Steamed Fish en Papillote

Prep Time:

Cook Time:



For the Steamed Fish en Papillote:

1 medium-sized white fleshed fish (such as sea bream, sea bass or red snapper)
2 spring onions
4 slices ginger, cut into matchsticks
1 red chilli, thinly sliced, cut into 5cm lengthwise
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
a pinch of white pepper


1. On both sides of fish, cut deep incisions across width at 3 cm intervals. Put the fish on a parchment paper. Rub oyster sauce and white pepper on both sides of fish. Then, add the soya sauce and sesame oil.

2. Add the spring onions, ginger, red chilli on top of the fish. Fold the paper in half lengthwise to close and roll the edges together to seal the packets.

3. Place fish in a steamer. Steam on a medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Serve warm.


  • Mike says:

    Happy New Year !!

  • Nicole says:

    Happy New Year!

  • Gertrude says:

    Wishing you and your family Gong Xi Fatt Chai!

  • Gong Hei Huat Chai! More Bullish year for you and family!! what an interesting way to steam fish!! love it!

  • Pepy says:

    Gong Xi Fat Chai. Selamat tahun baru Cina (that what we say usually in Indonesia).

  • tigerfish says:

    I like the idea of steaming in parchment paper. Imagine all the essence is “locked” within….and the burst of aroma when you unwrap the paper 😀

  • I never tried to use parchment paper for steaming. This is a great idea. 🙂

  • Kristin says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 🙂 hope you had a good time!

  • Ah, so this is what you did to the sea bream from the market. It looks wonderful. I think en papillote is one of the best ways to serve white fleshed fish.

  • lk says:

    Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Niu Year! 😉

  • My Cooking Hut says:

    Mike, Nicole,
    Thanks for the wishes!

    Gertrude, Beachloverkitchen,
    Gong Xi Fa Cai to you too!

    Terima Kasih! Di Malaysia juga diucap Selamat Tahun Baru Cina!

    Can’t agree with your more 🙂 I love the juice that is kept in the package! 🙂

    Rasa Malaysia,
    Thank you! You should try it!

    Thank you! I should be at home and not at work 🙁

    Yeah! That’s what I did! With a good fresh and firm fish like this, steam en papillote is probably the best method of cooking! 🙂

    Happy Niu Year to you too!! 😉

  • Maya says:

    Happy Chinese New Year!

  • Vanille says:

    Happy New Year ! (:

  • Ai Leng Choo says:

    I wish you peace, happiness, and many good eats in the new year. Hope to try your paper-wrapped fish recipe soon, as we can get very good fresh fish in New York’s Chinatown. Here’s an alternative method to steaming that I used this past weekend for my Chinese New Year lunch. I put two medium whole red snappers (seasoned with salt, pepper and ginger — you can use any fine-fleshed fish) in a pyrex dish covered with foil and baked them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. The result is the same as steamed fish. (For some people, this may be easier than steaming because you don’t have to worry about the steam’s heat when retrieving the fish from the pot.) What makes the dish appealing is when you pour a very hot sizzling Cantonese-style sauce on the fish in front of your guests. The effect is quite dramatic! Top with sliced scallions and coriander leaves. (Sauce sizzles when you combine a 3/4 Tablespoon of hot oil and sesame oil with a warm mixture of dark/light soya sauce, teaspoon of sherry or Chinese wine, water, 1/2 tsp of sugar)

  • My Cooking Hut says:

    Thanks! 🙂


    Thank you! 🙂

    Ai Leng,
    Thank you! I wish you a good ‘niu’ year too!
    I can’t get fresh fish in the Chinatown in London! A real shame 🙁 You are so lucky! Maybe I should be moving to NYC!
    The steaming method is really a good idea. In fact, the French papillote is to put it to be baked in the oven too and like you said, the result is just like steamed fish!
    I really like the part that you mentioned to pour a hot sizzling sauce… I could imagine how great it would be! I will try this method next time!! Thanks for your info!

  • noobcook says:

    I’m inspired to try this out, looks really delicious. Happy Niu Year!~

  • limpepsi says:

    Happy Chinese New Year to you too!!! I am snake, so nice to hear that it is a good year for me! Hurray.
    I didn’t know that we can use parchment paper to steam food. Thanks for tips!

  • Piggy says:

    Happy new year to you and your family! 🙂

  • My Cooking Hut says:

    Yeah, try it out! It is really good 🙂 Happy ‘Niu’ year to you too! 🙂

    Yeah!! Apparently it is a good year for the snake 🙂
    I think steaming/baking in parchment captures all flavours, which is really great!

    Thank you! Happy to you and your family too! 🙂

  • amies says:

    Gong Xi Fa Cai! Hope you had a great celebration.

  • My Cooking Hut says:

    Thank you! Gong Xi Fa Cai to you too!

  • PG says:

    Happy New Year to you too! A very informative post for me. Had been hearing about it, but never tried to inform myself of it.
    The fish looks wonderful! I like steamed fish a lot! Parchment is a lovely idea!

  • My Cooking Hut says:

    Thank you! It is really a good idea to use this method to capture all the flavours! 🙂

  • Hello, I just found your beautiful blog while looking for a method for cooking fish en papillote. This looks like exactly what I want! I’m wondering though if you have an idea about steaming the fish without a steamer? I’ve seen recipes elsewhere that suggest putting the paper package with fish in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes but this seems like it would overcook the fish!

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