25 Jul2006


When I feel like I have just completely “porked out” during the previous week or so, I get the “guilts” and try to eat a little bit more healthily for a meal or two. When you think that putting on say 7 or 8 pounds, which I can do in about 2 weeks if I eat everything I want, is the same as attaching 3 raw Magnolia chickens to your waist with strapping tape, then you realize you have to behave… One of my signature dishes for the Marketman “South Forbes Diet” is some fish fillet “en cartoccio”. Essentially, this means a no fuss, no muss, low effort dish cooked in some parchment paper. I have two versions…an Asian one and a Mediterranean version. Here is the Asian version…

Get some parchment paper (not wax paper), baking paper sold in good groceries, or use foil in a pinch (but remember that foil and acidic ingredients like lemon is a bad idea as the foil reacts nastily with acids) cart2 and cut out a large circle. Place a fresh fish fillet (patted dry with a paper towel) such as a cream dory or lapu-lapu or other white fleshed fish in the center. Add some julienned ginger, sliced white onions, green onions, wansoy, ground black pepper, soy sauce, ground pepper and a touch of sugar if you like. I threw in some Singaporean vinegared chillis that worked really well. Add a few drops of sesame oil if you can afford the fat. Seal the parchment paper well by crimping the edges together and either bake it in a hot oven in a pan for say 15 minutes or steam it on the stove top for say 10 minutes. Bring the whole paper package to the table and open it up and smell the terrific aroma that emerges with the hot steam. Served with rice, this is an easy, delicious, low fat and low calorie meal. Definitely one of my favorites…



  1. CecileJ says:

    Mmmmm…can actually smell the delicious aroma! Sesame oil really does the trick for some Asian dishes. However, there goes the South Beach diet as one definitely can’t eat this without steaming hot rice! (Or does the “South Forbes Diet’ allow rice? Hehe…)

    Jul 25, 2006 | 9:03 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    CecileJ, you are right, Phase I South Forbes should only have 1/2 cup of red or brown rice… Phase II would allow some white rice if you were good in Phase I…heeheehee.

    Jul 25, 2006 | 9:26 am

  4. Wilson Cariaga says:

    yep. . . always an easy dish and very satisfying. . . you can also add some chinese cooking wine for the asian version. . .I remember the last time we cooked this, we made the parchment paper shaped like a fish. . . hehe nice presentation. . .

    Jul 25, 2006 | 9:27 am

  5. wysgal says:

    I love fish in foil — although I never heard about that bit on lemons reacting negatively with foil … woops.

    If I had to cook for myself on a daily basis, I’d prepare a whole load of these over the weekend (with a generous glug of white wine in each bag) for a quick pop in the oven throughout a busy week. =)

    Jul 25, 2006 | 10:37 am

  6. mike says:

    marketman, that’s some kick butt steamed fish right there. Is cream dory a local fish? what is it called in the vernacular?

    Jul 25, 2006 | 11:21 am

  7. Marketman says:

    cream dory is an unidentified white fish imported frozen from Malaysia or Thailand, according to my suki at Yvan’s frozen seafoods at the Salcedo and FTI markets. I find it to be a very reliable filleted fish that I stock in the freezer always. Lapu-lapu fillets would work well also. I haven’t even found a scientific name for it… yipes, maybe I shouldn’t explore that too much as it could ruin a good thing! Dapa or other flatfish might work as well. As for parchment paper, you can buy it in rolls at Cooks Exchange at the various malls. You can also get boxed baking paper in groceries.

    Jul 25, 2006 | 12:05 pm

  8. Jean says:

    Marketman, may I ask: what is wansoy? Is that celery?

    Jul 25, 2006 | 12:49 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Sorry Jean, wansoy is coriander or also known as cilantro. You should be able to get this where Mexiacn food is sold if you are on the West Coast of the U.S., I can’t keep track of everyones locations…

    Jul 25, 2006 | 12:55 pm

  10. connie says:

    I didn’t know what wansoy was, as my mom would just call it cilantro, sometimes Chinese parsley. Cilantro is easy enough to find in any groceries here in the US.
    I might try this recipe one day that is if I get myself out from my blackened tilapia addiction. My local grocer sometimes sell tilapia fillets, occassionally they’ll have grouper (lapu-lapu) and halibut fillet. Apparently, salmon fillet, is the most common fillet around here.

    Jul 25, 2006 | 2:07 pm

  11. Gigi says:

    Coriander is the seed and cilantro is the herb…

    Jul 25, 2006 | 2:52 pm

  12. Jay says:

    i’m gonna try this at home tonight. my father in-law who stays with us (vancouver) loves fish – any way you cook it. (he will like me more, i guess, if i keep on cooking fish dishes at home! he he he). didn’t know about the foil and lemon, though (been doing it for so long..)

    Jul 26, 2006 | 4:42 am

  13. fried-neurons says:

    I’ve always wanted to try fish en papillote. But I have fish-cooking-phobia.

    Jul 26, 2006 | 6:53 am

  14. sharonel says:

    my mom makes a similar dish a very fast one at that, she uses fresh whole tilapia fish, she mildly salts the fish, put a slice of ginger inside it and she zaps it in the microwave..then once its zapped, she puts coriander, julienned ginger, spring onions on top of the fish…and in a separate pan she heats about a quarter of a cup of peanut oil ’til its smoking hot and then pour it on the fish with light soy sauce..very fresh and yummy..

    Jul 27, 2006 | 1:58 am

  15. joeybar says:

    i bought some frozen cream dory fillets yesterday without knowing what they were ‘coz they looked interesting and, at P230/kilo, not that expensive. i was researching the web for it when i hit this site.

    not that much info on it except from this one vietnamese site. it says the scientific name is Pangasius hypophthalmus. it is widely cultured in the mekong river area, grows quite big with a max recorded size of 44kg, and is actually a catfish.

    btw, nice site.

    Jul 28, 2006 | 11:00 am

  16. susan a. dy says:

    Because its perfect as a fish & chips dish, I have been researching about cream dory and its local name when I chanced upon your site. I got my answers…thanks…and also for your featured recipe. Now I can add variety to my home cooking!

    Cream dory has invaded Manila. With its yummy taste and reasonable price, its no wonder local supermarkets classify it as one of their best sellers.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 4:33 pm

  17. roy says:

    Hello guys… cream dory is really a very good fish. Actually, we have a frozen meat shop. You might want to order from me. You can contact me through 0917-8949693.

    Dec 26, 2007 | 5:19 pm

  18. Karla Yuloque says:

    do you know a cream dory recipe with capers in it?

    Mar 8, 2008 | 11:12 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    Karla, I had an earlier post on swordfish, butter, capers and lemon… just change the fish to ream dory and it should be good. I would go easy on the capers as they can overwhelm a flakier fish like cream dory… but if you love them, put as many as you like! :)

    Mar 9, 2008 | 6:32 am

  20. Larry de Guzman says:

    Cream Dory fillet, White fish fillet, river cobbler fillet are names for a freshwater catfish pangasius hypophthalmus and related species of pangasius. Major exporters are vietman and thailand.

    I wish the importers would label it properly as such, pangasius catfish fillet.

    Jun 19, 2008 | 11:58 am

  21. Eivind Trana says:

    Hi there. I moved to RP Jan. 23rd. As a norwegian it is mandatory to eat fish :-)
    I checked around and found cream dory, which is an excellent fish to make fishcakes, -balls, ,-pudding, -form. I am VERY “feely” about fish. I actually (almost) hate fish, but nevertheless I eat ‘coz it’s important for the brain and the body.
    My mother used to make all the previous mentioned types of fish dishes, just to get me to eat fish! So she’s taught me thoroughly how to make good fish dishes, like “Listen my by, without fish you DIE!).
    I happily found a manual grinder at the Carbon market in Cebu. Well, that’s the story.
    As of today, my fiancée will get fishcakes with veggies/rice when she comes home from her nursestudies. She loves it! My little (152 cm.) filipina can eat over 10 big fishcakes quicker than you can read this. So I kinda scored Bulls Eye, don’t you think?
    Apart from the Cream Dory I also make a norwegian type of sushi with salmon. I use salmon for “gravlaks” (sushi), smoked salmon with scrambled egg on bread to breakfast, fried salmon with veggies or consommé with fried salmon, creme fraïche and nice-cut veggies.
    If you don’t have the recipes on the above mentioned dishes I’ll be just glad to send you one/more of them. use my email (eivind@trana.as) and I’ll answer you quickly.

    Jul 4, 2008 | 11:26 am


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