Salmon Papillotes with Red Peppercorns, Lime and Fresh Ginger

January 1, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

My New Year’s decision regarding food is to eat more fresh fish. Although it’s harder to find then meat it’s worth while going the extra mile to buy good fresh fish, preferably not farmed. For this recipe I chose fresh salmon that I seasoned with Red Peppercorns, lime juice and fresh grated ginger. I baked them in the oven in Papillotes so it cooked in it’s own juices rather then in water or broth. Very simple and healthy, really quick to make and doesn’t make any mess. I served it on a bed of sautéed spinach. Happy New Year!

Babette's Feast

Food52 Review: We loved the varied grid of seasonings, all so simple to assemble and each contributing generous amounts of flavor. The final touch -- a sprinkling of fresh cream over the gently cooked salmon -- is not to be missed. - A&MThe Editors

Serves: 5


  • 5 fillets of fresh salmon (about 7 ounces each)
  • 2 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 tablespoons red peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 limes – freshly juiced
  • Sichuan Pepper
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 5 sprigs fresh dill
  • 5 teaspoons thick cream
  • Fleur de Sel
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Chives cut in small pieces
In This Recipe


  1. Take 2 large pieces of aluminium foil (or parchment paper) the same length and put one on top of the other, both shiny sides outside. Roll together on the length the aluminium foil together to make a seam and tighten it. Roll this seam 2 more times and press on it so the 2 pieces of aluminium foil are tight together. Gently open the aluminium foil. Press on the seam which is now in the middle and you have a double width aluminium piece of foil that can take all the pieces inside. Turn the aluminium so the seam is perpendicular to you and you have a wide aluminium piece. Fold it in half and lightly press so you know where the middle is.
  2. Clean the salmon fillets of all bones and if you prefer take the skin. Otherwise when putting the fish on the aluminium put it skin down. Season the salmon fillets with a pinch of salt, freshly ground Sichuan pepper, lime juice and grated ginger.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Place the aluminium foil on a baking tray so that the bottom half is sitting on the tray. Drizzle the olive oil on the aluminium half nearer to you, place the salmon with the seasoning and add the red peppercorns that you lightly crush with your hands. Place the dill on top of each salmon fillet and fold the top half of the aluminium towards you. Go round the aluminium folding together the 2 foils (top and bottom) 2 or 3 times so you completely seal all around.
  5. Bake in the oven around 10 minutes, depending how thick the fish fillets are. The papillote, if closed tightly, should blow up with the steam that the water in the fish let’s out.
  6. Discard the dill, serve one fillet per person on a bed of sautéed vegetables for example spinach. Place on top of each salmon fillet 1 teaspoon of thick cream, sprinkle with some chopped chives and a little Fleur de Sel.

More Great Recipes:
Chive|Dill|Ginger|Milk/Cream|Salmon|Seafood|Spring|Valentine's Day|Entree

Reviews (31) Questions (3)

31 Reviews

pattyrat July 29, 2013
What do you mean by "thick cream" please? Like creme fraiche? Or double cream?
drbabs July 29, 2013
I've made this and it's great. I think she means what you call double cream, but creme fraiche would be good, too!
JenJeiry January 19, 2013
I couldn't find fleur de sel, or sichuan peppers, or red peppercorns... so I just used coarse sea salt, and a peppercorn medley grinder, and served it on sauteed kale. So delicious! I'm saving this one :-)
Christinekim July 2, 2013
I could not find the sichuan peppercorns, either! About to find out how this tastes in 10 minutes :)
FunkyLady August 20, 2012
This flavor combination is impeccable. I had a beautiful filet of wild king salmon tonight and made a marinade with pink peppercorns, grated ginger, lime zest and juice, olive oil, and salt. Then seared the salmon over medium high heat. It came out great! Thank you for the inspiration :)
mpm6228 April 15, 2012
this was fantastic. I used the pink pepper corns, and had it with the suggested absurdly addictive asparagus and some yukon gold potato salad. Great!
cateler February 17, 2012
ooohh... love the Szechuan pepper and the papillote prep (that's a lot of P's!). Must try this soon.
Maria T. February 18, 2012
Do try cateler and let me know how it came out. Many thanks.
cathy_stern_lichtman February 14, 2012
I need an illustration or photo of step 1 please. Too many folds.
massimo February 13, 2012
Fish is harder to find "than" meat, not "then" meat.
Maria T. February 13, 2012
Sorry, my English isn't my first language!
withinseason February 12, 2012
We made this, but subbed fennel fronds for the dill and skipped the cream. It was delicious that way too!
Maria T. February 13, 2012
Good idea.
Allieyum August 27, 2011
I added sweet white miso to the ginger mixture. <br /> <br />Served with bulger, mushrooms, kale and onions. <br /> <br />Delish! Thanks for sharing.
steven_mazzola March 31, 2011
Hello, is it possible to use black pepper or perhaps white if Sichuan isn't available and is heavy cream another way of saying thick cream? <br /> <br />Thanks,
Maria T. February 13, 2012
The only reason I used pink peppercorns is because they are fruitier and black and white don't have that fruitiness. Sichuan has also a citrus taste which I think goes very well with salmon. But if you don't have them, it's no problem.
drbabs April 17, 2010
Hi Babette--I made this tonight for a dinner party. Everyone LOVED it--even my husband who allegedly hates ginger. I prepared everything ahead of time and just popped it into the oven. The fish was perfectly cooked and the sauce was delicious. Great recipe.
Maria T. February 13, 2012
Hi drbabs, I so happy you all liked the recipe. Babette was my previous name on Food52 but then I changed for my name and now I forgot my password so I answer with my name! Kind of confusing!
AntoniaJames January 25, 2010
Prepared this last night and it was a huge success. Needed more than ten minutes, even though my salmon was about 3/4" thick, and my convection oven was at 400 F. It's possible that my packet wasn't sealed tightly enough, though quite a bit of steam came out when I opened it. In any event, the dish was quite tasty! I look forward to using this method to experiment with different types of salmon and flavoring ingredients.
Author Comment
Babette's F. January 25, 2010
AntoniaJames, I am so happy you tried my recipe. The papillote has to be completely closed like a pressure cooker. You need to roll and press the seams of the aluminium packet in such a way that the water in the fish stays inside and creates steam. The papillote will inflate like a balloon because no steam escapes. Literally, when you see the packet ballooning, the fish is ready, just be very, very careful when opening because there is all this very hot steam inside, so make 2 or 3 holes with a toothpick to let out the steam before you open the top of the papillote. Also try nit ripping the aluminium all the way down because you will have some cooking liquid inside that is very tasty.
AntoniaJames January 25, 2010
We definitely had cooking liquid, which I poured on the salmon. It was so delicious. What a great recipe!! I've never made salmon indoors that was such a pleasure to eat. To you I am eternally grateful. ;o)
maryvelasquez January 10, 2010
It's been years (decades?) since I made salmon en papillote. This recipe brought it all back. The ginger-lime-peppercorn (pink and sichuan) combo was great. Thanks!
Maria T. January 16, 2010
Thank you for your comment.
Gale January 9, 2010
Great recipe, but tell me please, where do you get the fresh, wild salmon recommended at this time of year when no one is fishing for them. I'll wait til Spring for this one.
Author Comment
Babette's F. January 9, 2010
I have a fishmonger that imports salmon from Scotland. But you can make it with seabass and other types of fleshy fish. Thank you for your comment.
AntoniaJames January 7, 2010
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! Your recipes make me want to stop whatever I'm doing, go food shopping and then make the dish right away. I recently bought some tasty rose salt, which comes from a salt lake high in the Andes (courtesy of Spanish Table, one of my favorite specialty shops), and have been thinking it would be so fun to use it with pink peppercorns. This one is on the menu for next week, probably Sunday, which is my shopping day!!
Author Comment
Babette's F. January 8, 2010
Thank you for your comment. I also have pink salt from the Himalayas, but I actually like my Fleur de sel so much I didn't think of making an all pink dish - that would really make my graddaughter's day... all pink!
theicp January 7, 2010
This is my new year's resolution too - and this recipe seems like it would taste great on any type of fish!
Author Comment
Babette's F. January 8, 2010
Yeap, more natural fish can only be a good new year resolution. Thank you for your comment
dymnyno January 7, 2010
Fresh wild salmon is my favorite food. Pink peppercorns are something I love to add on anything from fish to meat to chocolate cake! Voting for you was a no brainer for me!....Great recipe too!
Author Comment
Babette's F. January 8, 2010
Wow, thank you, I am reaaly excited my recipe was chosen for the finalist. Thank you for your vote.