Mixed Seafood Steamed in Parchment with Shallots and White Wine

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

DEBORAH REMEMBERS… Ah, this dish triggers a memory of embarrassment. There was a time when I didn’t know that parchment was also the cooking paper one buys in a well-stocked grocery store. On my first attempt at cooking a parchment-wrapped dish, I decided to use some of the leftover heavy paper we had from printing my husband’s books and the diplomas for our School of Life students. It was a disaster! This dish, however, is lovely. Rush these puffy packets straight from oven to table, so each guest may enjoy the aromatic rush of steam that issues forth when the hot packets are opened. With this technique, you get a dramatic presentation for very little effort. For a truly luxurious meal, you might want to use both the lobster and fish, or substitute any seafood that catches your eye. Imagine this dish with just light vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, and greens. Hard vegetables, such as squash, could be included but should be thinly sliced.


Cooking Methodbaking


Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionFormal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, peanut free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, sweet, umami, winey


  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 small celery stalks, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 6 large scallops, cut into 2 pieces each
  • 1½ pounds salmon or 3 lobster tails, shelled, cut into 6 equal pieces
  • 12 large shrimp, shelled
  • Fresh basil, parsley, and dill leaves (optional)
  • 6 thin slices lemon or lime (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, shallots, celery, carrots, 2 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, and dill.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the paprika, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and wine. Add the scallops, salmon, or lobster, and shrimp and toss to coat. (The seafood may be marinated ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 8 hours.)

  4. Cut parchment paper or heavy aluminum foil into six 14-inch squares. Fold the squares in half to crease, then unfold. Divide the marinated vegetables among the packets, placing them to one side of the crease. Set 2 shrimp, 2 scallops, and a piece of salmon or lobster on top of the vegetables. If desired, tuck a few herbs into the seafood and top with a slice of lemon or lime.

  5. Fold the parchment loosely over the seafood, roll the edges together, and crimp to secure. Set the packages on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

  6. Set the packages on individual plates and serve right away, while very hot. Open the packages at the table, either by unfolding or by cutting an X in the parchment with scissors.

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