Wrapping the fish in paperbark produces a smoky aroma when heated. You can also cover the fish in baking paper then foil, but you will lose that delicious flavour. This recipe from chef Mark Olive is filled pays tribute to the Australian outback with its use of native ingredients.






Skill level

Average: 4.7 (124 votes)


  • 30 g butter, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp ground saltbush seeds
  • 2 tbsp ground lemon myrtle
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced, 1 cut into 8 slices
  • 125 ml (½ cup) macadamia oil
  • 4 x 200 g pieces swordfish or salmon, skinned
  • 4 large sheets paperbark (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 30 minutes

Drink 2009 Dal Zotto Arneis ($27)

Preheat oven to 180°C. To make herb butter, combine butter with saltbush seeds and 1 tsp lemon myrtle. Stir in lemon juice, spoon onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll up tightly to form a log. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm.

Meanwhile, combine 60 ml macadamia oil with 3 tsp lemon myrtle and rub over fish. Brush paperbark with remaining 60 ml oil and sprinkle over remaining lemon myrtle. Divide fish and lemon slices among paperbark sheets. Roll up paperbark, gather ends and tie with kitchen string to form parcels. Place on 2 oven trays, sprinkle with water, cover trays with foil and roast for 20 minutes or until fish is just cooked. Serve with herb butter.


• Paperbark, from delis and Vic Cherikoff (cherikoff.net), produces a smoky aroma when heated. You can also wrap fish in baking paper, then foil, but you won’t have the smoky flavour.


Photography by Derek Swalwell.         


As seen in Feast magazine, Jan 2012, Issue 5.