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This is Julia Child’s recipe, but I didn’t do the buttered parchment thing. Ha, if you see the buttered parchment in a recipe you just know it came from Julia. Oh I cut several parchments to fit the dish alright, first it was too big then it was too small, the last one was misshapen. In the end I drizzled the fish with melted butter and covered the pot with a lid. There, this will keep the steam in. There is one thing that Julia
insisted upon and that was washing and drying the fish. Pat it dry thoroughly with paper towel she said. I fully agree with her. Nothing is worse than fishy fish. The rest of the way is pretty much Julia’s fish. She was generous with the butter in “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom”, but really went overboard in “The Way To Cook”. There just in the sauce, she had 4-8 Tbsp of butter. She called it an “easy, delicious and nicely calorific butter sauce”. To some this is fabulous, as for me, it’s just fish. Jim calls it brain food. There have been times when I actually dreaded Fridays because I had to cook him fish. But here is the recipe. I ate most of my fillet, well, left a bit of it actually.

4 white fish fillets
salt and pepper
1+2+2 Tbsp butter
4 green onions, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp fresh herbs [parsley, tarragon]
few drops of fresh lemon juice
extra parsley

• Preheat the oven at 350 F
• Wash the fillets and pat dry with paper towel. This is a must.
• Season the fillets with salt and pepper.
• Butter an ovenproof stainless steel dish with 1 Tbsp butter.
• Place half the chopped green onion in the dish.
• Then lay the fillets in the dish overlapping somewhat.
• Top with the remaining green onions.
• Sprinkle with herbs.
• Add the wine beside the fish. The liquid should come up to the fish 3/4 of the way.
• Place on the stove and bring it to the simmer.
• Melt 2 Tbsp butter and drizzle over the fish.
• Cover the dish and move it into the preheated oven.
• Cook in the oven for 7-8 minutes.
• The fish is ready when it’s springy to the touch and is opaque.
• It may seem like the fish is not done, but it will be done trust me. It takes very little time to cook fillets this way.
• Pour off all the liquid into a sauce pan.
• Put the fish back in the oven with the door ajar. Oh and turn off the oven.
• Very quickly, over high heat reduce the liquid until almost syrupy.
• Whisk in droplets of fresh lemon juice and minced parsley.
• Add 2 Tbsp butter.
• Spoon over the fish and serve at once.


  1. I hated cooking fish for many years before discovering the Japanese cuisine. Every single Japanese fish dish I make is simply fantastic!
    I have never tried anything from Julia Child's book, although I have it, and quite and bought before everyone started to go crazy about Julia Child :-) I must get more interested in it.

  2. I used to watch her on TV - Julia was hilarious! There is a resurgence of her work because of the film no doubt. But eventually every serious cook arrives at the door of French cuisine and who better to translate it for us English speakers then Julia? I don't think she really went away.

    Japanese cuisine translates weird tastes for me. Shame on me! Sissi can you suggest a Japanese fish recipe for me? I am beginning to think I will NEVER be able to enjoy seafood. Am I to be sentenced to fish and chips, and mostly chips, for the rest of my life?

  3. Zsuzsa, I am very flattered that you ask me this!
    I think the Japanese recipe everyone loves is tempura. It is simply deep-frying fish or fish fillets in oil, but the tempura batter (available in many Asian shops) makes all the difference and, having tried fish and chips (the British way) I can assure you the tempura method absorbs less fat and tastes so much better...
    There is a recipe on my blog:
    (the cooking sake is the cheapest sake available in every Japanese shop). It is great since it can be made with very cheap fish (horse mackerel costs really nothing here) and both fillets or whole fish can be used.
    There is also Mackerel Simmered in Miso (if you have ever tasted smoked mackerel and liked it, you will love this recipe, otherwise it might seem too fishy...)
    Otherwise, this one is not Japanese, but my husband loves it, especially with salmon. It is very easy, no Japanese ingredients, just curry and paprika, and it hides so much the "fishy" side, I hope you will enjoy it:
    I have become a big fan of the Japanese cuisine, but I admit it needs to be approached step by step and certain flavours need a required taste. However, it is so healthy and light (even the deep-fried dishes seem lighter) that I am sure I would weigh at least a couple of kilos more if I had only French or Italian dishes for example. Thanks to this cuisine I also eat more seafood and fish than I did before.
    (By the way, I am preparing a post about a fish marinated in vinegar, very refreshing and not very "Japanese", but it requires several Japanese ingredients. Do you have access to a Japanese grocery shop? If yes, I will send you the recipe before I post it, I am sure you would like it! Unfortunately no Western substitutes are possible...)
    In short, try fish tempura (with small, cheap white fish) and the curry and paprika salmon. I think both can be liked by those who aren't very fond of fish.
    As for Julia, I once read her autobiography, I think co-written with her nephew. It was an amazing book which made me think how the traditional French culinary approach was far from the North-American one at the time and in fact how far it still is in some points...

  4. I really appreciate your answer Sissi. I will start with the tempura - we have a tiny Japanese store not far from our house. I will let you know how it went.

  5. Zsuzsa, there is one very important thing to remember with tempura batter (actually two!):
    1) the water should be the coldest possible, so mix the batter just before frying, when the oil is very hot
    2) the batter should have lumps, without lumps it's not as light and airy, so the better way is to mix it only slightly with chopsticks (they don't mix as well as a fork, so the danger to make it smooth is smaller)
    I hope you will enjoy the tempura! (Oh, and as you see on my blog, the fried tempura is never golden, it's yellowish white).
    The Japanese have also this wonderful idea to salt fish and then pat dry after a 10-15 minutes. It takes off some "fishy" smell. I also sometimes rub fish or shrimp with sake. It definitely makes the fishy smell almost disappear.
    I have lately started to marinate chicken breasts in sake (even in European dishes) and my husband asked me what I have invented to make chicken breasts not as dry as before ;-)
    Good luck and let me know if you need any help!




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