En papillote means “in foil,” which is all it takes to make seafood steamed in its own flavorful juices. This technique is virtually foolproof: if you are just learning how to cook fish or shellfish, it’s is a great place to start.
Start by heating the oven to 425 F. In the meantime, you can create your seafood package: cut a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment big enough to wrap around all of your ingredients and lay it on a baking sheet. Place your fish fillets, shrimp, clams, or other shellfish in the center and season. Surround it with any vegetables you’d like to add, along with aromatics like sliced citrus or fresh herbs.
Carefully fold the foil or parchment around the ingredients and crimp it at the edges to seal completely. Transfer the packet on the baking sheet to the oven, then let it roast until the seafood and veggies are cooked—the amount of time needed will vary depending on the type and thickness of your ingredients. Tip: this can also be done on a covered grill set up for indirect heat.
Once everything is done cooking, very carefully unwrap the packet—there will be hot steam, so open it with caution. If you’re serving a group, we recommend doing this at the table to impress everyone.