Cooking in baking paper
Matthew Kadey, MSc, RD
If you didn't know already, baking paper is a lean, mean, cooking machine.
If you didn't know already, baking paper is a lean, mean, cooking machine. And if you've never tried it before, you're in for a delicious treat!
Cooking fish, poultry, veggies, and other delights in baking paper can elevate simply prepared foods to an entirely new level. THe packets seal in nutrients often lost with more destructive cooking methods such as boiling and frying. And no expensive ovenware required.
This is one cooking method that should not be kept under wraps.
Baking paper pointers
Baking paper is safe for baking up to 230 C, but never put it under the grill or use it on the barbecue or campfire; and don't substitute wax paper for baking paper when steaming.
Choose the right meats
Best for faster-cooking meats, choose chicken breasts instead of bone-in thighs, and salmon filets over salmon steaks.
When layering ingredients on the baking paper, place fish, poultry, and other meats on the bottom, as they will take the longest to cook. Faster-cooking vegetables, herbs, and fruits should be placed on top of meats.
If an item doesn't have a lot of natural moisture, such as potatoes, carrots and parsnips, add other foods with high moisture content such as spinach or tomatoes. A splash of liquid to create steam within the packet can help as well.
Mind the size
Cut accompanying items into sizes that will cook in the same amount of time as the main ingredient. Potatoes or other root vegies with a tender fish fillet such as bream, for instance, should be sliced thinly so everything will be done at once.
Serve with style
Let packets rest for five minutes before slicing into them. To serve, use a very sharp knife to cut an X in the top of each packet. With the knife, lift the cut edges slightly and slowly to avoid steam burn.
Bajung paper is a heavy, nonstick white paper that can be found alongside the aluminum foil and wax paper in most supermarkets.
Cut your baking paper into individual 50 to 65 cm long pieces. Fold in half crosswise so that a crease runs down the middle.
Create a paper heart by drawing a half heart, with the centre of the heart on the fold line, then cut out the shape.
Open the heart and layer the ingredients on one half of the sheet close to the centre fold, leaving least a 2.5 cm border around the edges for folding.
Starting at the top of the heart, fold the edges of parchment together, sealing the edges with tight, 0.7 cm folds. Twist the end tip of the packet to secure the ingredients and tuck it underneath.
Place packets on a baking sheet and cook.