Up until recently, I’d never even been tempted to give this parchment paper salmon baking thing a try… I know it’s a thing, and a very popular one at that, but “poached” fish has never really been my cup of tea, you know. And in my mind’s eye, the fish that would come out of that parchment paper once it had been baked would be extremely similar to poached salmon.
Still, I eventually got curious and decided to give it a try. Boy oh boy, was I in for a surprise! To say that I was totally happy and impressed with the fish that emerged from that paper pouch would be an understatement.
This Parchment Paper Baked Salmon with Asparagus Lemon and Dill has got to be the moistest and juiciest piece of salmon I’ve ever eaten. And the easiest one I’ve ever prepared, too.
Honestly, I’m a total convert!
My only wish is that I’d actually tried it years ago…. for seriously, can you get a sense of how incredibly moist this is?
Oh yeah! It’s THAT moist…
This time I chose to lay my fish on a bed of asparagus, but if they weren’t in season or if you weren’t a fan, you could just as well use green beans, sugar snap peas, or sliced zucchinis, why not?
Same goes for the dill: any kind of fresh herb would work, so feel free to sub your favorite one!
When using this technique, make sure you choose salmon fillets that come from the thickest part of the fish, otherwise the flesh will cook too quickly and won’t be nearly as moist…
Also, you should ideally remove the skin or have it removed by your skin monger. Salmon skin is really yummy and a terrible thing to waste when seared at high temperatures as it becomes super crispy, but when baked this way, it’ll only turn chewy and slimy on you. If you like it that way, then by all means, leave it on.
Personally, I’m not a fan and much prefer to remove it before it even hits my plate.
Make sure to preheat your oven to 400°F and have all your ingredients ready before you start working on the pouches.
Place a large rectangular piece of parchment paper on your work surface; Place about 8 to 10 asparagus spears in the center but slightly off to one side of the parchment paper.
Place a salmon fillet over the asparagus, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, season with salt and pepper then top with 3 slices of lemon and a couple of dill fronds.
Next, fold the parchment paper over the salmon and seal the edges by making overlapping folds all around the edge.
At the end, tuck the final crease under the pouch to secure the seal. If you need a good visual to help you get this done, check out this video. Note that I didn’t use any egg whites or oil or water to seal the paper, and didn’t find that it was necessary at all…
Repeat all the steps 3 more times with remaining ingredients and then place the finished pouches onto a large baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, let sit for 5 minutes and then carefully cut open the parchment paper.
Really, do use caution when you rip that paper open: a lot of hot steam will escape and you wouldn’t want to burn yourself!
The first thing you will notice is upon opening that packet is that baked dill doesn’t look all that appealing… as such, you might want to replace it with a few fresh fronds.
As soon as that’s been done, your fish is ready to serve. Simply transfer it to a plate, and enjoy without delay, as this dish is at its best when eaten warm and fresh out of the oven.
- 36-40 asparagus spears, ends removed
- 4- 175g (6oz) thick salmon fillets, skin removed
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 fresh dill sprigs, plus more for garnish if desired
- 1 large lemon, sliced thinly
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and place a large rectangular piece of parchment paper on your work surface.
- Place about 8 to 10 asparagus spears in the center but slightly off to one side of the parchment paper.
- Place a salmon fillet over the asparagus, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, season with salt and pepper then top with 3 slices of lemon and a couple of dill fronds.
- Fold parchment paper over the salmon and seal the edges by making overlapping folds all around the edge. At the end, tuck the final crease under the pouch to secure the seal. Repeat 3 more times with remaining ingredients. Place pouches on a baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, let sit for 5 minutes and then carefully cut open the parchment paper.
- Garnish with additional fresh dill and serve immediately.