Mild and sweet: Alaskan Rockfish Baked in Parchment is a delicious and easy pregnancy recipe, perfect for lunch or dinner. Alaskan Rockfish can also be known as Rock Cod or Pacific Snapper.
Just thinking about that combination of moist flaky fish paired with juicy tomatoes makes me want to eat some right now!
Why You Will Love this Recipe
During my pregnancies, I would constantly brainstorm and research delicious ways to prepare fish. At my local New England fishmonger, typical seafood and fish species available for purchase include Salmon, Atlantic Cod, Haddock, Pollock, Tilapia, Halibut, Shrimp, and Flounder. Recently however, my husband was fortunate enough to go on a Alaska fishing trip for one week. Afterwards, he ended up shipping us home his catch: pounds upon pounds of delicious wild Alaskan Rockfish (yes, he had a successful fishing trip!). For those who may be unfamiliar, rockfish is a white fish which has a very mild, sweet & delicate flavor.
Enter Alaskan Rockfish Baked in Parchment, a.k.a., "Rockfish En Papillote." En papillote is a fancy French way of saying "in a paper or parchment packet"
This baked rockfish recipe is incredibly easy, with minimal prep time, and clean up is SUCH A BREEZE. Afterward eating, you literally throw away a sheet of paper. No pot-scrubbing involved. And no washing of multiple utensils. Plus, it's super festive to wrap up the baked rockfish fillets into adorable parcels at the kitchen counter (though sadly no shiny ribbons or bows are involved). Specifically, plain, unwaxed parchment paper is what you want for this application.
Is Alaskan Rockfish Baked in Parchment Healthy?
Yes! Alaskan Rockfish is healthy, especially for a pregnant woman. Let's take a look at the nutrient content of the ingredients in this Alaskan Rockfish recipe, especially the vitamins and minerals. Equally important nutrients in pregnancy include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Alaskan Rockfish is very healthy. In general, fish is one of the top choices as a source of protein; an average serving of rockfish has nearly 33 grams of protein! Protein is of course integral in promoting growth of baby's body, including her brain. Furthermore, expansion of blood volume and growth of the maternal tissues require substantial amounts of protein. Alaskan Rockfish fillets are also an incredible source of omega-3 DHA, a healthy fat that supports growth of baby's eyes and brain.
This fish species specifically is also high in vitamin D, and selenium. The US FDA advises that pregnant women or breastfeeding women eat between 8 and 12 ounces of low mercury fish each week. Many believe that wild caught fish is more healthy than farmed fish because the wild diet may be higher quality and more diverse (larger variety of nutrients consumed). Regardless of whether you choose farm-raised or wild-caught, eating fish is indeed one of the best food decisions you can make during pregnancy.
Multicolored grape tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, which helps baby to develop healthy bones and teeth. Tomatoes are also a great source of fiber. Furthermore, tomatoes contain lycopene, which is an antioxidant that some studies show reduces the risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women!
Olive oil adds rich flavor. Furthermore, some studies show a protective effect of olive oil use during pregnancy on wheezing during the first year of the offspring's life.
Plus, a high-quality olive oil supplies healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and iron, which provide vast benefits to a growing baby. Adequate monounsaturated fat intake is associated with improved sleep quality during pregnancy, which may help improve health and wellbeing of mother and child. Adequate iron intake helps the pregnant woman to avoid anemia, which is caused by iron deficiency and can result in outcomes ranging from baby's low birth weight to maternal mortality.
Essential in every pregnant woman's pantry, I use olive oil daily in my cooking.
- Rockfish – Rockfish fillets are the star of the show. In addition to rockfish, other great, low-mercury choices could be cod, perch, black sea bass, or hake. Most species of white fish could be substituted here. Ensure that the rockfish fillets are thawed. They should be about ½ - ¾ inch in thickness (1.25 – 1.90 cm).
- Grape Tomatoes – Not only do these tomatoes lend a pretty visual contrast, but they add necessary acidity to the dish. Once heated in the oven, they soften and basically melt, transferring tons of flavor to the fish.
- Red Onion – This ingredient adds a crisp texture and a hint of spice to the fish. If your pregnant self isn't feeling onions, feel free to omit!
- Garlic – Just a hint of fresh garlic makes everything tastier.
- Black Pepper and Sea Salt – Keeping it simple with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Flaky sea salt is always my preference.
You Will Also Need
You will also need parchment paper. If you are tearing from a parchment roll, a 11 x 17 inch (28cm x 43cm) sheet will suffice for each individually-wrapped fillet. However, be sure not to use waxed paper or brown paper, these can burn and end up causing a huge mess.
How to Make Rockfish Baked in Parchment
First Prepare the Toppings
Prior to beginning, be sure to preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Begin by washing and slicing all of the veggies. Cut each grape tomato in half because this will allow more juices to escape and be absorbed by the rockfish fillets. Slice the onions into small strips. Then smash each clove of garlic and finely chop.
Assemble the Packets
Ensure that the rockfish fillets are fully thawed. They should be about ½ - ¾ inch in thickness (1.25 – 1.9 cm). Beginning with the first of the fillets, place fish in the center of a parchment sheet. Again, be sure you are not using waxed paper or regular brown paper: these will burn!
Salt and pepper the fish, and then spoon the chopped garlic, tomatoes, and onions on top. Next, drizzle olive oil (about 1 teaspoon) all over the top of the pile.
Fold the parchment into a small paper parcel, ensuring that the fish is fully enclosed and that you have a tight seal. You want the fold to be on top so that no juices will escape. Tuck the parchment ends underneath to keep from unrolling.
Repeat for the three remaining fillets.
Bake in the Oven
Placing the parcels on a baking dish or sheet pan, bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) or until the internal temperature of each rockfish fillet reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62.8 degrees Celsius).
Take care when opening the parcels; hot steam will escape and can burn you. Lastly, test a fillet with a fork; you will see that the fish flakes easily.
Serving Suggestions and Tips
If you’re feeling a bit extra, you could sprinkle the fillets with grated parmesan cheese, lightly sprinkle with some lemon juice, or serve with some lemon slices.
Rockfish Baked in Parchment is one of those main dishes that can stand alone because it has several delicious components. But, if you would like to add something additional, then I'd suggest a side dish from the following options:
- Fluffy buttered jasmine rice
- Simple fresh green salad (arugula or baby spinach) tossed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Mustard green beans
- Steamed lentils
- Sliced crusty baguette
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What does Alaskan Rockfish taste like? Alaskan Rockfish is a whitefish with a very mild flavor. The taste is slightly sweet.
- Does rockfish smell fishy? Not at all. A fresh catch should have virtually no odor.
- Can other types of fish be used? Absolutely. Refer to Advice on Eating Fish for some other good options for pregnant women.
- Can I overcook this fish? Because of the steam-cook method of this recipe, it is very difficult to overcook the fish. The steaming tomatoes and onions basically “melt” atop the fish, creating a savory marinade that cooks the fish. The fish poaches within the parchment, and the liquid does not evaporate.
- Are there other kinds of flavors that could be used for this baked rockfish recipe? Some people really enjoy a pinch of Old Bay spice on this type of white fish.
You Will Also Love These Related Pregnancy Fish Recipes
Alaskan Rockfish Baked in ParchmentAuthor:
- 4 fillets of Alaskan rockfish
- 2 cups grape tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tsp high quality olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
- Halve the grape tomatoes.
- Smash and finely chop the garlic cloves.
- Slice the onion into thin strips.
- Salt and pepper the fish fillets.
- Place one rockfish fillet in the center of a 11"x17" (28cm x 43cm) parchment sheet.
- Generously cover the fillet with garlic, tomatoes, and onions.
- Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the top of each pile.
- Fold up the package, forming a small paper parcel, and ensuring that the fish is enclosed. Tuck the folded parchment ends underneath to keep parcel from unrolling.
- Repeat steps 6 through 9 for the remaining fillets.
- Bake parcels on a baking dish in oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
- Take care when opening the parcels; hot steam will escape.