Origami Fish Packets

Fold up your choice of fish, veggies, hearty grains, and seasonings. As steam builds in the pouch, it gently cooks the fish while the seasonings infuse everything.

Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
35 mins


  • 2 cup cooked and cooled grain, such as brown or white rice, farro, and/or a lentil-grain blend

  • 4 6 ounce skinless, boneless fish filets or 1 1/2 lb. skinless, boneless fish filet, cut into 4 portions

  • ¼ cup purchased pesto (sun-dried tomato or basil)

  • 2 cup vegetables, such as thinly sliced carrots, bell pepper, zucchini, green onions, halved sugar snap peas; very thinly sliced fennel and/or onion; and/or blanched* broccoli or cauliflower florets or green beans

  • 2 tablespoon butter

  • Orange or lemon wedges


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut four 20x12-inch pieces parchment paper. Fold each in half crosswise (10x12, like a book) and unfold. On one side of each sheet of parchment, layer 1/2 cup cooked grain and a piece of fish. Spread pesto evenly over fish. Top evenly with vegetables and butter.

  2. To seal: Fold other parchment half over fillings. Starting at one folded corner, make a 1-inch fold toward middle and crease. Continue making overlapping folds to seal the three open edges, forming a half oval. When packet is completely sealed, twist remaining parchment at the end; fold under packet. Transfer to a large baking sheet.

  3. Bake about 10 minutes (**see doneness test). Fish should be opaque but moist throughout. Immediately transfer packets to plates. Carefully cut open tops of packets. Serve with orange or lemon wedges. Makes 4 packets.

    Origami Fish Packets
    Carson Downing


*Note: Fish types that work well for steaming in packets include skinless, boneless filets (or small whole fish) such as trout, sole, bluefish, tilapia, salmon, cod, halibut, or small red snapper. The ideal thickness of the fish filets is ½ to ¾ inch. Thaw fish, if frozen.*To blanch heartier vegetables, cook in boiling water about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge veggies into a bowl of ice water; drain.***Note: While parchment paper is traditional and makes a showy presentation, aluminum foil can also be used for the packets.

Fish Doneness Test for Packets:

**When parchment starts to brown and puff, the fish should be done. Double-check using one of these methods:

Skewer: Before cooking, poke a wooden skewer into a fillet so you can feel the resistance of the raw fish. After 10 minutes baking, poke a skewer into a fillet through the packet. The skewer should have little to no resistance.

Fork: Carefully unfold one side of a packet. The fish should just flake when tested with a fork. Rewrap to serve.

Thermometer: Insert a thermometer into fish through the packet; it should register 145°F to 155°F.

Flavor variations

If desired, add 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped roasted peanuts to the gremolata and 1/2 tsp. curry powder, garam masala, or berbere spice to the olive oil, coconut oil, or melted butter.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

421 Calories
13g Fat
38g Carbs
37g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 421
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 342mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 37g
Vitamin C 26.3mg 132%
Calcium 108mg 8%
Iron 2.3mg 13%
Potassium 954mg 20%
Folate, total 44mcg
Vitamin B-12 2.6mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.6mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Related Articles