If you’re going meatless, you’ll need to know the easiest and probably the best way to cook seafood. It’s a simple yet frequently overlooked cooking method that has been around for years: the packet.
Also known as the parcel or, in French, en papillote, cooking fish, seafood, or any food in a sealed parchment or foil packet is a classic way of cooking. And it’s easy to do: all you need is fish, seafood, or even meat and the seasonings of your choice.
Pack lemons or calamansi and butter with fish, seafood, and even parboil corn and sausages for an easy seafood-boil style meal. Just take a large piece of foil or parchment and place your ingredients on one side. Lightly season then drizzle in oil, lemon juice, stock, or even some white wine just to keep it moist as it cooks, then fold over the other half of the sheet over the ingredients. Fold the edges to help seal in the food and either bake or steam (if using foil) until it’s all cooked through.
And it’s probably one of the most flavorful ways of cooking, too. That’s because not a lot of the juices can escape. Since it’s cooked in a semi-closed environment—the parchment or foil packet—the juices and liquids that you cooked the food in steams as it cooks, infusing it even further with the evaporating flavors. Plus, the liquids that does remain after the food has cooked is more concentrated, creating a natural sauce that is intensely flavorful. You’re going to taste all the flavors of the packet in each bite!
Now, if the thought of incredibly flavorful and freshly steamed crabs, shrimps, fish, slipper lobsters, doesn’t make you want to go out and grab parchment paper and foil for your next meal, we don’t know what will.