Fish Parcels Wrapped in Grape Leaves

June 10, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 3
Author Notes

I came up with this recipe for an earlier contest, but Enunn says it's good cold and recommends it for a picnic, so I'll give this contest a shot too! It's salty and briny and lemony, so make sure anyone you serve it to likes sour flavors. I used cod, but I actually think salmon would be ideal. The sesame topping was a happy accident -- I meant to pour in a little bit of sesame seeds into the sumac-lemon juice mixture and it got away from me...but it turned out to give it a really nice texture, like coarse mustard. If you want more of a thyme flavor, double the thyme. You will probably need a few grape leaves to wrap your fillet, and the best part about this dish is that the outer layer will get crispy on the grill. The texture turns out to be a bit like nori, and the taste is briny. I made my fish parcel into a burger, putting the whole parcel in a toasted hamburger bun. It was a really interesting texture combination to have the toasted edges of the bun, the soft bread, the crispy grape leaves, and the fish inside. For a topping, I would suggest mayonnaise, fruit chutney, or a tahini sauce. I'm including an easy tahini sauce here. - clintonhillbilly —clintonhillbilly

Test Kitchen Notes

I really like this dish. So easy and quick to prepare -- loved the flavor and texture the grape leaves added to the fish, in addition to the za'atar-like spice combo (I used salmon). Also: it was delicious cold and would be good on a picnic at room temperature. You can pick it up to eat. It helps to slice the shallot thinly, and I think this dish would be good with a plug of butter instead of olive oil for a change (horror!). - ENunn —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Fish Parcels in Grape Leaves
  • 3 fish fillets
  • 12 grape leaves in brine
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 shallots, sliced
  • Tahini Sauce
  • 1 cup plain greek or other yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  1. Fish Parcels in Grape Leaves
  2. Mix together sumac, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh thyme, and sesame seeds.
  3. Place each fish fillet on top of a grape leaf. Top with each with 1/3 of the sesame-sumac mixture and half a shallot, sliced. If desired, include a lemon slice in each parcel as well.
  4. Use remaining grape leaves to wrap each fillet completely.
  5. Place on top of a hot grill and cook 5-7 minutes, then turn it over and cook another 5-7 minutes. Cooking times depend on the size of your fillet -- the general rule is 4-6 minutes per half-inch of thickness.
  1. Tahini Sauce
  2. Combine and stir thoroughly until tahini is well-combined with yogurt. Add lemon juice to taste, add honey if you want it a little sweet. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a little water.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stubor
  • Margy@hidethecheese
  • clintonhillbilly

Recipe by: clintonhillbilly

public interest attorney

4 Reviews

Stubor July 20, 2015
I'm using kohlrabi leaves and substituting bishop's weed for the sumac.
Cover me, I'm going in!
clintonhillbilly July 20, 2015
Let us know how it turns out!
clintonhillbilly June 11, 2010
Grape leaves are so amazing, aren't they?
Margy@hidethecheese June 10, 2010
I just posted a recipe for grilled stuffed grape leaves too, although our recipes are quite different. I love that char from the grill with the zing of the leaves. Yum!