Asian Sesame Tilapia (woo hoo)

I'm so excited to have the amazing Heather from Heather's Dish sharing another recipe! You guys enjoy and I'll see 
you tomorrow! - Jessi 

I'm the kind of gal who enjoys entertaining and honestly never saw it coming. A few years ago my husband and I moved to Denver to help plant a church and, through all that comes with church planting, ended up hosting many little events in our home. At first I was a mess, worried about the dog fur that lives EVERYWHERE, whether the food would be good, if everyone would be fed, if anyone would have fun. 

And then? Well, honestly then God taught me how to give myself a little grace, and then having friends in our house was fun. A blast. And, when we moved to Arkansas, and we started over with making friends, it was weird and sad to not have people over. 

Luckily we've been so blessed in the friends we've made in this gorgeous state and I've learned to perfect my imperfect entertaining again. Things that can be made ahead are HUGE, and this is no exception. Making things en papillote basically means you're steaming it in a parchment paper or foil packet. Everything cooks at once, and when you're served your little packet there's a big puff of beautiful steam and voila! Perfectly cooked food!

This dish can be made with vegetables only, or you can use any good white fish you prefer. I used flounder because it was the freshest at my seafood counter that day, but tilapia or cod would be fantastic too. OR SHRIMP! The key is to season every layer and then fold the packet so that the steam stays in. I like to make a big pot of brown rice or quinoa to serve this on top of for a hearty and healthy meal you'll love serving!



Serves 4, but double/triple/quadruple as needed!

  • 4 pieces white fish of choice, preferably wild-caught, about 6 ounces each
  • 3 medium zucchini, washed and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons local honey
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375. 
  2. In a bowl combine the toasted sesame seeds, minced garlic, minced onion, ginger, and crushed red pepper flakes in a bowl.
  3. Tear off 4 sheets of foil or parchment paper (I prefer foil, but parchment is traditional) and lay flat on a counter.
  4. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on one half of each piece of foil, staying away from the edges.
  5. Place a piece of fish on top of the oil and season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle a bit of the spice mixture on top of each piece of fish.
  6. Top each fish with the sliced zucchini and red bell peppers.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining spice mixture on top of the vegetables, then drizzle 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce on top.
  8. Now fold the paper over the bed of salmon and veggies and fold the edges all around to make a calzone of parchment paper…the whole point is to make it as airtight as possible to keep the steam in (that’s what helps it all cook).  
  9. Place the packets on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes (12 if the fish filets are thin, 15 if they’re thicker).  
  10. Remove and immediately and carefully place on plates and open. You’ll get a steam facial that smells like heavenly spices and veggies and be greeted with perfectly steamed veggies and fish.
  11. Enjoy!
Jessi ConnollyComment