Mexican Fish in Parchment

Healthy fish and veggies are sauced with a garlic, herb, and caper beer reduction, then cooked in parchment for a quick weeknight meal with lots of zesty Mexican flavor!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author Tamara


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tiny tomatoes such as cherub
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 12 ounce bottle of light beer tecate, modelo, etc.
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • a sprinkle of sea salt
  • several grinds pepper
  • 1 squash julienned*
  • 1 bell pepper julienned
  • 1 ear corn kernels removed*
  • 2 jalapenos*
  • 2 firm white fish fillets*
  • lime wedges and fresh cilantro to garnish
  • * See Notes


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (400 convection roast).
  2. In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When it is hot (not smoking), add the onion, garlic, and tomatoes. Cook until onion is translucent - about 2 minutes - stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the Mexican oregano, cumin, beer, and capers. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until liquid is reduced to only about 1/3. You need about 2-3 tablespoons of liquid for each packet.
  4. While the beer reduces, prep the vegetables, season with a bit of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper. Toss to combine.
  5. Rinse and pat the fish fillets dry. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  6. Arrange the vegetables in individual bags or packets.* Place the fish on top, and carefully spoon in half of the sauce over the fish and veggies. Seal the bag, and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining fish fillet and veggies.
  7. Cook 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish. My 1" thick fillets needed only 10 minutes. When I've used thicker sea bass fillets, it required the full 15.
  8. You can either serve the dish in its packet or remove the contents and plate. The bottoms of the parchment will be wet, so use a large spatula to get them out of the pan and onto the plates. Carefully cut an "X" in the top. Garnish with a lime wedge and chopped cilantro.
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Summer squash varieties work really well in this dish, and are very typical vegetables in Mexican cooking. Choose the freshest or your favorite variety.

I grill my corn first, but this is not a required step. Feel free to cut kernels from the cob and use raw, or use frozen. Canned is not my favorite, but it would probably be fine as well.

Any firm fish is fine including but not limited to salmon, halibut, snapper, sea bass, rock fish, cod, tilapia. Keep in mind thickness when cooking - about 10 minutes per inch thickness. Prick the bag through the fish, and it should move through easily if it's done. If it meets with any resistance, pop it back in the oven for a couple of minutes.