Parchment Paper Fish


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a Starter

Appears in

This delightful appetizer is as delicious as it is cleverly contrived: a thin slice of fish is sandwiched between delicate, flavourful ingredients, then wrapped in greaseproof paper and finally deep-fried. As the package cooks, the mixture steams and the flavours marry, the happy result being a uniquely tasty starter.

In the preparation, the package must be wrapped carefully so the oil does not seep in. Although this recipe takes a little more work than others, the outcome is well worth the effort.


  • 250 g (9 oz) firm white boneless fish fillet, such as cod, sea bass or halibut, skinned

For the Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 3 tablespoons finely shredded fresh root ginger
  • 25 g (1 oz) Parma ham, finely chopped
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) groundnut oil


Cut the fish into 4-cm x 5-mm (1½ x ¼-in) pieces and combine it with the Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, sesame oil, salt and pepper in a glass bowl. Let it marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Cut 30 pieces of greaseproof paper, each 15 cm (6 in) square. Place one square of greaseproof with a corner towards you and fold the tip in slightly. Put in the centre of the square the following: a piece of fish, a bit of spring onion, 2 shreds of ginger and a bit of ham. Bring the first corner over the ingredients, then fold in the two sides. Now fold the entire package in half, leaving a flap at the furthest corner from you. Finally tuck this flap in to secure the package. Repeat until all the packages have been filled.

Heat a wok over high heat until it is hot, then add the oil. When the oil is hot and slightly smoking, add about 10 packages and deep-fry for about 3 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain well. Deep-fry the rest of the packages in batches in the same manner. When they are completely finished, arrange them on a platter and let each of your guests unwrap their own packages.