Chinese Fish En Papillote (Paper wrapped fish in sesame ginger sauce)

5 from 6 votes
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Instead of cooking your fish the same old way, try this Fish en Papillote that treats cod to a gingery soy sauce for a delicate and flavorful meal that’s ready in 22 minutes! {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Chinese-style fish en papillote

Fish is definitely a favorite of mine. It’s fresh, delicious, and good for you too. You might have a few fish recipes up your sleeve, but this Fish en Papillote is something you’ve got to try. Made using cod wrapped in parchment paper, the cooking process embeds the dainty ginger soy sauce flavors into the tender and juicy fish. It’s so flavorful yet delicate, you’ll eat up every last bite!

Chinese-style fish en papillote close-up

Quick dinner or romantic date night

This Chinese Fish en Papillote dish is perfect for Valentine’s Day or a romantic date night as well, as it’s a super-easy sheet pan dinner that will show your love. The hassle-free preparation also leaves you with easy clean-up. Serve it with a glass of white wine and you’ll feel like you’re dining somewhere glamorous!

The parchment paper folds up like a heart, making for a pretty presentation, too. It only takes 10 minutes to prep and 12 minutes for cooking. That includes cooking the ginger with sesame oil on the stove. It’s the most important step in this fish en papillote recipe, so don’t skip it, as this will bring out the aroma of the ginger and leave your finished sauce tasting extra rich. 

Fish wrapped in parchment paper and ready to bake


What type of fish to use

I used cod in this recipe because it produces a delicate, juicy, and tender result that also tastes scrumptious. But you can use practically any type of white fish to cook this recipe. Some of my favorites are sea bass, sole, snapper, flounder, and catfish. 

Vegetable of your choice

I used small heads of Chinese broccoli in this recipe because they cook perfectly with the fish without any prep and become super flavorful.

For larger heads of Chinese broccoli, you should peel the tough skin from the stem, then slice the stalk lengthwise into half so it helps with even cooking. 

Yu choy and baby bok choy are great alternatives, as well. For baby bok choy, you can halve it if the stalks are small, or quarter them for bigger heads. 

Make sure the fish covers the veggies. Once cooked, the vegetables might not look the best, but they will be soaked with the sauce and juice from the fish. They will taste so good!

Fish en papillote cooking process

  1. Heat the ginger and sesame oil on the stovetop to release the aroma
  2. Pour in the rest of the seasonings and simmer briefly
  3. Fold a piece of parchment paper and cut it into a half heart shape, then unfold it into a full heart
  4. Spread the vegetables and some of the sauce onto the parchment
  5. Lay the fish on top and pour on the rest of the sauce
  6. Fold up the paper and seal the edges
  7. Bake for 12 minutes
  8. Carefully cut open the paper using a pair of scissors and serve!
Chinese fish en papillote cooking step-by-step

While the recipe is perfect for one, you can easily multiply it to impress a gathering of dinner guests. 

This is a dish I love to make on a busy weekday night, one that is as healthy as it is delicious. Plus, the easy prep and clean-up ensure it will become a favorite in your kitchen, too! 

Cod baked in parchment paper with a Chinese sauce

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Instead of cooking your fish the same old way, try this Chinese-inspired Fish en Papillote that treats cod to a gingery soy sauce for a delicate and flavorful meal that’s ready in 22 minutes! It is perfect for Valentine’s Day or a romantic date night, as it’s a super-easy sheet pan dinner that will show your love. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Chinese Fish En Papillote (Paper wrapped fish in sesame ginger sauce)

5 from 6 votes
Instead of cooking your fish the same old way, try this Fish en Papillote that treats cod to a gingery soy sauce for a delicate and flavorful meal that’s ready in 22 minutes! {Gluten-Free Adaptable}
To make the dish gluten-free, use dry sherry to replace the Shaoxing wine and use tamari to replace the soy sauce.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese inspired
Keyword: sheet pan dinner
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 1


  • 1 (6 oz / 170 g) cod fillet (or sea bass, or other type of white fish)
  • 2 to 3 stalks small heads of Chinese broccoli or baby bok choy, or yu choy, cut into about 8” (20 cm) pieces
  • 4 sprigs cilantro



  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • In a small saucepan, heat the sesame oil over low heat until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ginger to the pan. Cook and stir for another minute.
  • Add the Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and sugar. Raise the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  • Cut a piece of parchment paper that is approximately 12×15” (30×38 cm) and fold the longer side in half. Cut the folded paper into a wide half-heart shape. Unfold the paper and now it should look like a heart shape.
  • You will need to arrange all the ingredients on one side of the heart, leaving enough space on the edges to seal the paper – place the Chinese broccoli in the center of one half of the heart, slightly closer to the fold crease and the rounded top. Drizzle half of the sauce and ginger over the Chinese broccoli.
  • Lay the fish on top of the Chinese broccoli. Drizzle the remaining sauce and ginger over the fish. Place the sprigs of cilantro on both sides of the fish.
  • Fold the other half of the heart over the fish side. Starting at the top of the heart where it is rounded into a point, begin folding 1” (2.5 cm) sections towards the center of the package, pressing down well with each fold to seal it.
  • Once the package is completely sealed, place it onto a baking tray. Bake for 12 minutes.
  • Remove the baking tray from the oven and let it rest until the parcel cools off a bit, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Move the parcel to a large serving plate. Cut open the center of the parcel with a clean pair of scissors or a sharp knife. Serve immediately.


Serving: 1g, Calories: 334kcal, Carbohydrates: 19.5g, Protein: 31.4g, Fat: 15.7g, Saturated Fat: 2.3g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 686mg, Potassium: 1282mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8.3g, Calcium: 287mg, Iron: 4mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

More fish & seafood recipes

Lilja Walter is a part of the Omnivore’s Cookbook team and worked closely with Maggie to develop and test this recipe.

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. anna says:

    Dear Maggie, can I use defrosted fish here? Thanks, Anna

    • Maggie says:

      Yes, you should fully defrost the fish before cooking.

      • anna says:

        thanks ♡♡ in this case no doubt I’ll try this as it looks really wonderful

  2. Emily says:

    I love that the parchment folds up like a heart. You made it easy to pick out a recipe for valentine’s day at home!!! Thank you! Cannot wait to make for my husband in a few weeks.

  3. Baylee Lopez says:

    5 stars
    Outstanding fast and easy recipe for everyday or company. I used Montreal Steak Seasoning instead of salt and pepper. The butcher at my grocery store gave me that tip for seasoning salmon years ago. Its a fabulous combo. I had always microwaved it before but this recipe gives a great crispy texture.

  4. VT says:

    Is it possible to use aluminum foil instead of parchment paper? Does the cooking time need to be adjusted?

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      I’ve never tested the foil but I think it should work. The cooking time might be a bit shorter, but it really depends on the fish fillet you use.
      The best way is to cook for 10 minutes and check the doneness, and cook it a bit longer if needed (it’s fine to cook without fully covered with foil at the end).

  5. VT says:

    5 stars
    This was easy and delicious!

  6. Anni says:

    This recipe is absolutely amazing thank you . Even my kids who doesn’t love fish are eating it 🙂

  7. Ed Dodson says:

    5 stars
    This was just great! I prepared it for our Valentine’s Day dinner and my wife and I loved it. We live in a small city and don’t have access to an Asian market o I used broccoli rhabe in place of Chinese broccoli and it worked fine. I should have used more ginger in the sauce; if only I had read the entire article and seen how to prepare the ginger. The sauce was still excellent however. All the amounts and cooking times were spot on. Thanks for this recipe Maggie

  8. Alexandra Walker says:

    5 stars
    This was so delicious! A keeper for sure. I put the cod on a bed of swiss chard with cilantro. Added salt & pepper to the sauce and on top of the fish. Added more of everything in the sauce- so tastey, yet delicate and light. Served with short grain brown rice and roasted broccoli. So yummy!

  9. Alexandra Walker says:

    5 stars
    I love this recipe and it always gets rave reviews when I serve it. How would you make it for 14 people??

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