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Steamed Pacific Halibut Packets with Kale, Grape Tomatoes, and Garlic Lemon Chili Oil

Serves 4


    Steamed Pacific Halibut Packets with Kale, Grape Tomatoes, and Garlic Lemon Chili Oil

    Steaming fish in parchment-paper packets, also known as cooking en papillote, is a classic technique that allows you to cook all your vegetables and fish at the same time in a quick, easy, and convenient way. Flavours of lemon, garlic, and spicy dried chili make this a simple, yet showstopping meal.


    Sustainability status

    Wild-caught Pacific halibut has Ocean Wise and Marine Stewardship Council certifications and is fished using longlines, which is a more selective method of fishing that results in less bycatch.

    Prep party

    Involve family or guests in the prep and have everyone make their own packet. Once you’ve mastered the technique, it’s easy to change up the ingredients. Make sure you select vegetables that will cook at the same rate as the fish.


    Steamed Pacific Halibut Packets with Kale, Grape Tomatoes, and Garlic Lemon Chili Oil


      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) crushed red pepper flakes
      • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely crushed
      • 1 lemon
      • 6 cups (1.5 L) finely chopped Cavolo Nero (Italian) kale
      • 4 - 6 oz (170 g) pieces wild BC halibut, skinless
      • 2 cups (500 mL) grape tomatoes, halved
      • 2 tsp (10 mL) chopped chives, for garnish


      Per serving:

      • calories310
      • protein44 g
      • total fat12 g
        • sat. fat2 g
      • total carbohydrates6 g
        • sugars3 g
        • fibre2 g
      • sodium116 mg



      Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).


      For chili oil, in small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, and chili flakes. Zest lemon and add to bowl, reserving remainder of lemon.


      In large bowl, toss kale with approximately 3/4 of the chili oil mixture and allow to stand for about 15 minutes.


      From half of reserved zested lemon, cut 4 thin slices, crosswise, and then cut slices once more so you have 8 half-moons. You should now have 8 half-moons and just over half a lemon. Set aside while you assemble fish packets.


      Cut parchment paper into 4 pieces measuring approximately 20 x 14 in (51 x 37 cm). On large work surface, lay parchment pieces out flat and place 1/4 of kale in centre of each piece. Top with a portion of halibut, season with salt and pepper to taste, and arrange tomatoes around each piece of halibut. Divide and drizzle remaining chili oil and squeeze juice from remaining half of lemon over each piece of halibut. Finally, top each piece of halibut with 2 lemon half-moons. Seal packets by folding long edges of parchment toward centre, rolling and crimping up edges.


      Place sealed packets on large baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. To serve, either let everyone dive into their own packet or, for a more formal presentation, open packets and, with a large spatula, sweep contents of each packet onto individual plates. Garnish with chopped chives, and enjoy.



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      B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.