The Japanese en papillote. Salmon and vegetables wrapped in foil with butter, soy sauce and sake and cooked in about a centimetre of water in a frying pan.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (118 votes)

It uses foil and a frying pan instead of baking paper and an oven because many Japanese kitchens don’t have ovens. I think the foil actually helps seal things better and makes for a tastier sauce.


  • 2 salmon fillets, about 280 g each, skin-on, pin-boned
  • 80 g mixed Japanese mushrooms, cut into strips
  • 2 heads pak choy or baby bok choy, quartered
  • 1 brown onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 60 g butter
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 tsp sake

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.


  1. Cut the salmon fillets in half lengthways and place each piece, skin-side down onto a 30-cm square piece of foil. Divide the mushrooms, pak choy, onion and butter between all four pieces of salmon. Drizzle each piece with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sake. Gather the foil around the salmon and crimp it at the top to form an enclosed package.
  2. Take a large, lidded frying pan and add about 1 cm water. Place the packages of salmon in the water, cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the packages and serve.


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Photography by Adam Liaw.