Keef Cooks logo
British food-lover Keef shows you how to cook amazing food with easy to follow recipes and videos. So stop wasting your time and money on takeaways or supermarket ready meals, and Get Cooking!

Cod en Papillote with Lemon and Caper Sauce

Introduction & method

This French method of cooking en papillote - in a parcel - gives perfectly cooked fish with all of the juices saved. Combine it with a creamy and zingy lemon and caper sauce. Mwah!

Cod en Papillote with Lemon and Caper Sauce Recipe


Pat the fish dry and remove  any little bones. Slice a lemon. Take two squares of greaseproof (parchment) paper, fold them in half then cut half of a heart shape out.


Place one or two lemon slices close to the fold of the paper heart and pop a piece of fish over the lemon. Dab the top with small bits of butter, scatter a few capers over, then place two more lemon slices and a few more capers. Fold the top piece of the heart over the fish and tightly fold the edge of the paper to seal the top and bottom together, a bit like crimping a Cornish pastie. When you reach the bottom point of the heart, fold it under the package.

Cook the Fish

Heat your oven to 180° Celsius (356° Fahrenheit) for a fan/convection/airfryer oven, or 200° Celsius (392° Fahrenheit) for a conventional one, or gas 6. Place the parcels of fish on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes.

Make the Sauce

Place the cooked fish parcels into a skillet or frying pan. Carefully open them - a lot of scalding hot steam will escape. Drain the liquid and capers into the pan. Set the paper and the fish aside and discard the lemon slices. Place the pan on medium heat and melt a large knob of butter into it. Stir in a couple of tablespoons of cream and a teaspoon of dill. Cook the sauce for a few minutes until it has thickened a little. Taste it and season with salt and white pepper if it needs it.


Place the fish in its paper on a plate with buttered new potatoes, steamed asparagus and tenderstem broccoli. Dribble the sauce over the fish. Garnish with a quartered lemon.


You can use aluminium foil instead of paper to make your parcels. This technique can be used to cook chicken, pork or veal but you may need to adjust the cooking time depending on the thickness of the meat.


Ingredients & Info

 2 cod fillets
 2 lemons
 30 grams unsalted butter
 2 tsp capers
  cooking liquor from the fish
 30 grams unsalted butter
 125 ml double (heavy) cream
 1 tsp dill
  salt and white pepper to taste

Greaseproof (parchment) paper for wrapping. Lemon for garnish.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 2 
Prep time: 5 minutes.
Cooking time: 25 minuntes.
Total time: 30 minutes.