Baked Salmon Wrapped in Phyllo (Filo)...or Salmon Parcels. I like to add fish to our diet from time to time, and I continue to look for different ways to prepare the fish. When I cook the fish, I tend to limit myself to the oven or grill. Sometimes, I will pan fry it...but baking seems to be the easier way out(at least during the winter months). I simply season the fish and pop it in the oven while I quickly prepare a salad or side dish to go along. The seasoning isn't complicated....the usual salt /pepper, maybe some grated garlic. At times I may add some paprika, chile flakes, dill or fresh cilantro...ingredients I usually have in the house. Once in a while, when I feel bold, I may add an Asian twist or even some curry or garam masala. But recently I came across a sophisticated way of baking fish... wrapped in phyllo dough. The idea of wrapping fish in phyllo dough wasn't exactly knew to me. I had done it before...years ago, when I was newly married and maybe another time or two. But I had stopped making it that way. I really don't know why....maybe it was because I didn't always have phyllo dough on hand. So while searching for another recipe, I stumbled upon it again. Even though the recipe had a Thai adaptation, it still reminded me of the original I had made years ago. I was glad for the packet of phyllo dough sitting in my freezer....there was no reason not to make it.
The really neat thing about making this recipe is that you can actually use any type of fish fillet you like...though the salmon gives you that beautiful contrast of colors. You can be VERY creative when seasoning the fish as well. But you don't have to limit yourself to just seasoning the fish... you can also top the fish with various vegetables or even some seasoned butter.
The recipe I am posting isn't really much of a recipe. It's more of an idea. You can wrap the fish however you like. I chose to sort of twist the edge on both sides of the fish( sort of like when making hand pies and twisting the outside edge), but you can also twist the phyllo on top....just by placing the fish on the phyllo dough and gathering the 2 diagonal corners and twisting towards the center until you have a tight packet. You can even wrap the fish burrito-style. I noticed that it works best if you brush the phyllo dough well, especially the edges( so that they don't break on you) and keep the phyllo dough covered as you work. Whenever working with phyllo, buttering each layer is essential, as it gives you a golden and crispy pastry.
If you've never cooked fish in phyllo, you might want to give it a try. It's quite similar to baking the fish in parchment paper...except the parchment paper is replaced with phyllo dough....and you actually get to eat the wrapper:). Definitely an impressive dish that's great for when you have company coming over. You can assemble the fish packets earlier in the day and bake it in time for dinner. The fish is nice and moist while the pastry provides a light crunch. My husband said it reminded him of "fish and chips".....hmmmm, maybe a lighter version. I' m glad he liked it, as I plan on making it a bit more often:). Hope you enjoy...
You will need: inspired by Delicious Magazine
Salmon fillet or any favorite fish fillet
salt/pepper to taste
a drizzle of olive oil
4 Phyllo dough sheets
melted butter or olive oil for brushing*
*butter tastes better, but olive oil works... which is actually what I used in this post.
Seasoned with various spices/herbs
~smoked paprika or regular
Topped with vegetables of choice::
~shredded cheese, etc.
caraway, sesame seeds
1. Preheat oven to 375. Season fish and prepare toppings/seasoned butter(if using). I like to rub a little olive oil on the fish.
2. Depending how your phyllo sheets are measured, you may want to cut it in half. Mine come in a box as a twin pack...each sheet measures 9 x 14. I use 4 sheets and cut them in half and have a total of 8 half sheets measuring 4 1/2 x 7. You may need to trim your phyllo sheets....or you can use them as is(wrapping the fish according to preference).
3. On a flat surface, place a half sheet of phyllo. and brush with butter( or oil).
4. Place another half sheet and brush with butter...repeat until you have 4 sheets.
5. Lay the seasoned fish on top of the 4 buttered half sheets (and any toppings of choice/or seasoned butter...or skip the toppings altogether.)
6. Butter yet another stack of 4 half sheets of phyllo and place them on top of the fish.
7. Starting from the left side( top portion), twist and roll the edge of the pastry until you get to the right side.
8. Do the same with the bottom of the packet.
9. Brush top with melted butter*(see note below) and sprinkle caraway seeds, sesame seeds(totally optional).
Alternately, you can trim 4 phyllo pastry sheets in a square... large enough to encase the fish fillet. So that when you lift 2 corners of the phyllo together you can roll the pastry and enclose the fish. or Simply roll and fold burrito style.
10. Bake in 375 deg oven for about 15 minutes( more or less depending on thickness of fish) and pastry is golden brown. Serve with salad or stir-fried/steamed vegetables.
*NOTE:At this point, if you want, you can freeze the fish packets and bake them at a later time...bake frozen and increase cooking time to about 25 minutes or so.