Steamed haddock with blood orange and basil hollandaise

  • medium
  • 4
  • 45 minutes
Not yet rated

Cooking haddock en papillote ('in paper') results in perfectly cooked fish which you can unveil directly at the table. This recipe from Paul Welburn pairs basil-cured haddock with fennel and seasonal blood oranges, which are steamed in the parcel itself and used to flavour a rich hollandaise to be drizzled over the top. A wonderfully theatrical dish for any dinner party.

First published in 2019





Garnish in the bag

Blood orange and basil hollandaise

To serve

  • 1/2 fennel, finely shaved, dressed in a drizzle of rapeseed oil and sprinkle of salt


  • Parchment paper


Begin by curing the haddock. Blend the salt, sugar, lemon zest and basil stalks to create a bright green cure. Coat the fish evenly with the cure and leave for 20 minutes. Wash the cure off with cold water, pat dry and cut into 4 equal 150g portions
Whilst waiting for the fish to cure, prepare the garnish. Sweat the finely sliced fennel, onion and carrot in the rapeseed oil until soft but not coloured. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool
Cut out 4 separate 30cm circles of parchment paper. Spoon some of the cooled vegetable mixture onto half of each paper, and divide the blood orange segments between the four circles (there should be 4–5 segments for each). Top with the haddock portions then fold the paper over to create semi-circles
Crimp the edges tightly and staple round the edges until only a small opening is left. Carefully pour in a splash of the white wine and blood orange juice, then seal the parcels completely. It is important that there are no gaps or holes so the steam doesn't escape and the fish cooks evenly. Preheat an oven to 190°C/gas mark 5
While the oven is heating up, make the hollandaise. Place the egg yolks, reduced orange juice and white wine vinegar into a large glass bowl and sit this on top of a pan of gently simmering water, ensuring the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk until the mixture creates thick ribbons, which will take about 5 minutes
Remove from the heat and slowly drizzle in the butter, whisking all the time to emulsify. If the mixture begins to split, add in a splash of cold water to bring it back together. You want the sauce to become a thick pouring consistency, so add a little more water to loosen if needed. Taste and season with salt, then fold in the basil. Keep warm whilst you cook the fish
Place the fish in the oven for 7 minutes. Due to the cure, the fish may still look a little translucent, but will be perfectly cooked after this time. Divide the parcels onto plates, tear open the paper and dress with a little bundle of the finely shaved fennel. Spoon over the warm hollandaise and serve immediately
  • 1/2 fennel, finely shaved, dressed in a drizzle of rapeseed oil and sprinkle of salt

Paul Welburn has years of Michelin-star cooking behind him, holding a star for five years at restaurant W1.

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