From paper to plate: Fish “en papillote” and lemon aioli are the perfect easy weekend lunch

Fish “en papillote” is as easy as the fishy business gets. Simply wrap fish in parchment, whip up some lemon aioli, and you’ve got an easy, effortless, and tasty weekend lunch. Catch these fresh spring recipes and treat yourself – bon appétit!

Fish en papillote is a fresh, delicious, and colorful lunch. The lemon aioli is served from Serax's Dune bowl. The bread plate is Iittala's Kastehelmi.

ARE YOU STRUGGLING with how to get more fish on your plate? Design Stories contributor Suvi Kesäläinen pondered the same issue until she found a solution. The perfect recipe might sound impressive but is surprisingly easy to prepare: en papillote.

“The term sounds a bit intimidating, but it's just a fancy French word for saying that the whole meal, fish included, cooks in the oven wrapped in parchment paper,” Kesäläinen explains. Cooking fish couldn’t get any easier from this, as there's no need to worry about side dishes, overcooking the fish, or the smell in the apartment after frying fish in the pan.

The fish is wrapped in baking paper and then placed in the oven.

You can use any fresh, white-fleshed fish fillet. Vegetables can be varied according to the season and availability: try spring onions, leeks, peas, cherry tomatoes, halved asparagus, or thinly sliced summer turnips, for example. The most important thing is to use vegetables that cook simultaneously with the fish.

Crusty bread tops off the meal. The jug is from HAY and the portable lamp is from Tala. The wine to match the meal can be enjoyed from the Raami glass and the water is poured into the Aino Aalto tumbler.

If you want a more filling meal, you can serve the fish and vegetables with, for example, boiled potatoes, rice, and plenty of crusty bread for dipping. The fish is served with a fresh lemon aioli – the bread is perfect for scooping up all the flavors from the plate!

“The key to success is fresh, high-quality ingredients—so invest in both the fish and the vegetables!” Kesäläinen advises. “Also, be patient when making the aioli. The egg and oil should be at room temperature because aioli will not work with fridge-cold ingredients. Instead of a whisk, you can use an immersion blender, which allows you to whip up the aioli in just a few seconds.”

Choose fresh seasonal vegetables to pair with the fish. Set the feast on Iittala's Teema plate.

Fish “en papillote”

Ingredients (for four):

150 gr fish per person
1 bag of green beans / 1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 fennel or leek
1 bunch of radishes or 1 box of cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp butter
1 lemon juice and zest
Salt and black pepper
1 pound of parsley

Lemon aioli
1 (organic) egg
1 tsp mustard
200 ml rapeseed oil
Salt and black pepper
1 lemon zest and juice


First, prepare the aioli and put it in the fridge to season. Whisk the mustard into the room-temperature egg in a round-bottomed bowl. Gradually pour room-temperature oil in a thin stream while continuously whisking evenly, until the mixture thickens. Season with salt, black pepper, grated lemon zest, and juice.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Rinse and chop the vegetables into equal-sized pieces. Season the fish fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Place a double sheet of parchment paper on the table, pile the vegetables on it, and then place a fish fillet on top. Add a dollop of butter, chopped parsley, and a drizzle of lemon. Gently but firmly fold the parchment paper into a packet. Repeat with other servings.

Place the packets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or in a large baking dish. Bake the packets in the middle of the oven for 10-15 minutes. Place the packets on plates and cut in the center of each packet, being careful of the hot steam. Serve with aioli and crusty bread.

Get inspired

Mantle portable lamp
Nobel fish fork
Indian Steel Pitcher No. 2
Dune tumbler
Dune bowl
Aino Aalto tumbler
Kastehelmi plate
Bamboo placemats

Suvi Kesäläinen

Design Stories contributor Suvi Kesäläinen is a photographer, who loves to create dishes that are not only delicious but also fast and easy to make. She’s passionate about the best seasonal ingredients, local food, and intriguing culinary trends.

See also:

All tableware >

Text and images: Suvi Kesäläinen

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