Salmon in Parchment Paper (纸包三文鱼 Zhi Bao San Wen Yu)
October 31, 2020
This Salmon in Parchment Paper recipe is my own creation. It was inspired by Trader Joe’s Yuzu Hot sauce. It requires very few ingredients and it’s got everything you need for a simple yet delicious meal. Also, you don’t need an oven. Instead, you only need a pan with a lid. You can pair this with rice and porridge or present it as a main course for a casual dinner party.
As I mentioned before in my post for Steamed Salmon with Black Bean Sauce, my family loves salmon. The fish is fatty, flavorful, nutritious, low mercury, and easily accessible. When I cook salmon at home, I try to preserve its natural flavor as much as possible by using only a few ingredients like in today’s Salmon in Parchment Paper recipe. In this recipe, the sealed parchment paper acts like a mini steamer, trapping the salmon’s juice so the fish tastes tender and flavorful.
Besides sprinkling some kosher salt or sea salt on salmon, I only use two other condiments—light soy sauce and Yuzu Hot Sauce (I bought it from Trader Joe’s and love it). The combination of these two creates a sauce that is salty, acidic, spicy, sweet, and tart. The Yuzu Hot Sauce by itself is actually quite spicy, but after being cooked in the salmon, the spiciness becomes much more subdued. Even my four year old can tolerate it! I would say the combination is a bit similar to the Japanese Ponzu sauce, with Ponzu sauce having a much stronger dashi flavor. If you don’t have the Trader Joe’s Yuzu Hot Sauce, you can either use Japanese Ponzu sauce with some green chili or combine light soy sauce, lime or lemon juice, and some green chili.
The potato and mushrooms are the only other two ingredients besides the condiments. I use the sliced potato as a cushion to hold the salmon, preventing the bottom part of the salmon fillet from being overcooked. The potato also absorbs the extra sauce and becomes savory and soft to the bite after cooking. The shiitake mushrooms adds a subtle umami and a different texture to the dish.
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
- 1 lb boneless salmon fillet (cut into 4 equal portions)1
- 1 medium yellow potato
- 4-6 shiitake mushroom
- A pinch of kosher salt or sea salt
- 4 x 1 tablespoon light soy sauce2
- 4 x 1 teaspoon Yuzu Hot Sauce3
- 2 green onions
- De-scale and clean the boneless salmon fillet. Cut the fillet into 4 equal portions. Sprinkle some kosher salt or sea salt over the fillets and leave them on the counter for 5-10 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.
- Peel the yellow potato and cut it into thin slices (around 1/5 inch or 0.5 cm thick). Rinse the potato slices once and pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
- Discard the stems from shiitake mushrooms. Cut the mushroom caps into thin slices. Set aside.
- Separate the white and green parts of the green onions. Cut them into thin slices.
- In a small bowl, combine the light soy sauce and Yuzu Hot Sauce. The measurement for this recipe serves 4 x 1/4 pound fillets, which equates to 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of Hot Yuzu Sauce per 1/4 pound fillet. If using more or fewer salmon fillets, increase or decrease the sauce accordingly.
- On a large rectangular parchment paper, first lay 3 to 4 potato slices in the center, then place one cut salmon fillet on top of the potato slices. Arrange a couple of sliced shiitake mushrooms and the white parts of green onions on top and around the salmon (see pictures). Pour around 1 tablespoon of mixed sauce from step 5 over the salmon. At this point, the salmon is ready to be wrapped.
- Bring the two long sides of the parchment paper together, folding the two sides three times. Then twist the two ends and bend them upward to seal the openings completely. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all the salmon fillets are wrapped in parchment papers.
- Heat a large skillet or pan at medium-high heat. Lay the parchment-wrapped salmon one by one in the skillet. Cover the lid. Keep the heat at medium-high for 2 minutes. Then lower the heat to medium for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat. Transfer each parchment-wrapped salmon onto a plate. Carefully open the parchment wrapping and sprinkle some green onion (green parts) on top. Enjoy while hot!
- Some stores have the salmon fillet already cut but not scaled. Other stores might de-scale the fillet but not cut it. You can leave the salmon skin on or remove the skin depending on your personal preference.
- For a gluten-free version, use gluten free light soy sauce or tamari which can be found in most Asian grocery stores.
- I got the Yuzu Hot Sauce from Trader Joe’s. Yuzu is a citric fruit commonly used in Japanese cuisine the same way lemon or lime is used in other cuisines. Yuzu Hot Sauce, known in Japanese as Yuzu Kosho, is a Japanese hot sauce using Yuzu, chili, pepper, and salt. Like I mentioned in my introduction, if you don’t have Yuzu Hot Sauce, yon can substitute it with lime or lemon and some green chili. Alternatively, if you have Japanese Ponzu sauce, you can use it in place of of the combined light soy sauce and Yuzu Hot Sauce.