Summer Grilled Coconut-Lime White Fish Packets

Summer-Grilled-Coconut-Lime-Fish-Pockets

I guess it’s not officially summer yet, but lately Meat-and-Potatoes-Guy and I have been living like it is.

Summer-Grilled-Coconut-Lime-Fish-Packets

The weather’s been so hot, we’ve been grilling up a storm.

Auberge-Montreal

And we took our first warm-weather road trip, to Montreal, Canada.

Montreal is French-speaking, and the beautiful Old Montreal near the Saint Lawrence River is full of old stone buildings, cobbled streets, and gas lamps.

So it feels a bit like a miniature Paris.

Notre-Dame-Basilica-Exterior-Detail

Complete with its own gorgeous, Gothic-style Notre Dame Basilica …

Notre-Dame-Basilica-Altar

… which is beautifully lit with bright, bold color throughout the interior.

Montreal-Japanese-Garden

The city holds an incredible, vast Botanical Garden with greenhouses, a Japanese Garden, and a very tranquil Chinese Garden.

Old-Montreal

We lucked out and got a couple of gorgeous, clear, sunny days for the trip.

And it seemed like everyone in the city decided to celebrate the arrival of the warm and sunny weather – the streets were packed with people strolling, every table at every outdoor cafe was occupied.

Montreal-Outdoor-Staircase

But I found a couple of pretty, peaceful spots – these winding staircases located outside of buildings are a unique feature of the old Montreal town houses.

Old-Montreal-Bicycle

It felt a little like a mini European vacation without the expensive, grueling seven-hour flight.

Coconut-Lime-Fish-Packets-for-the-Grill

But back to the grilling!

Zucchini-and-Corn-Fish-Grill-Packets

I love, love to cook fish with veggies in foil packets because it’s such an easy technique for cooking a healthy, super-flavorful dish (with hardly any dishes!).

So I had to wonder if foil packets would work for the grill, since I hate to go anywhere near the hot oven during the humid summer months.

Summer-Veggie-Fish-Pockets-for-Grilling

Great news: I’ve found foil packets are perfect for grilling!

And the method I’ve come up with is easy and fool-proof, so I’ve never ended up with charred or scorched fish and veggies.

corn-zucchini-fish-packet

I’ve been loving this Grilled Coconut-Lime White Fish Packet dish lately, packed with fresh summer veggies: corn, zucchini, and shallots.

And complemented with the bright tropical flavors of creamy coconut milk, lime zest, and fresh cilantro.

The flavors are very light, delicate, and fresh – perfect for hot summer evenings.

ingredients

Here are the key ingredients you’ll need.

preparing-corn-on-the-cob

Begin by preparing some fresh corn on the cob.

Peel the husks off the corn and break off any stems.

cooking-corn-on-the-cob

Place the corn in a large pot of water and bring to a boil.

The corn should cook quickly, in just five minutes.

Remove the corn with tongs and allow to cool on a large plate or cutting board.

cutting-corn-from-cob

When the corn is cool enough to handle, grab a large mixing bowl and hold one ear of corn in the bowl, vertically, with the stem side down.

Grab a small serrated knife and slice down the cob, allowing all the corn kernels to fall into the bowl.

Time Saver: if you’re short on time, frozen sweet corn kernels taste (almost!) as good as fresh in this dish.

mincing-garlic

Next, smash a couple of cloves of garlic with your knife, breaking apart the skin so you can easily peel it off.

Then run your knife through the garlic, mincing it up.

preparing-shallot

Grab a shallot and slice off both ends.

Cut the shallot in half lengthwise and peel off the skin.

slicing-shalllot

Place one half flat-side-down on the cutting board and cut thin slices.

preparing-zucchini

Next, grab a zucchini and cut off both ends.

slicing-zucchini

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and place one half flat-side-down on the cutting board for stability.

Cut thin half-moon slices.

zesting-lime

Next, zest a lime using a fine grater/zester.

And if you don’t have this helpful little tool, it also works to use a vegetable peeler to remove the lime zest (use just the green part – not the white pith underneath).

Then use a knife to chop it up finely.

preparing-cilantro

Next up: fresh cilantro!

Here’s what it looks like. You can buy it by the bunch in the produce section of the grocery.

Use a sharp knife to chop a small handful of cilantro from the stems.

chopping-cilantro

Then run your knife over the pile of cilantro, chopping it up.

Substitute: if you don’t love the taste of cilantro, try fresh chives instead.

I know people often skip the fresh herbs in recipes.

I know this because I often do it myself, even with my own recipes.

But whatever you do, don’t skip a fresh herb altogether in this fish dish! The flavors are very light and subtle and every ingredient is important.

preparing-veggie-foil-packet

After the veggies are prepped, prepare the packets.

Prepare the grill for medium heat (about 400 degrees F).

Grab a large sheet of aluminum foil (about 10 inches in length).

Fold it in half to create a fold line, then unfold, like a book.

Pile some of the corn, zucchini, shallots, and garlic on the right half of the foil, near the fold in the center.

Fold up the three edges of the right side of the foil, so they form a “bowl” that contains the veggies.

Now you’ve created your bowl, add the liquids: canola oil and coconut milk.

Add a bit of the lime zest.

Season well with salt and pepper.

preparing-fish-foil-packets

Place an individual portion of cod (or similar white fish such as haddock or halibut) over the veggies.

Season the fish well with salt and pepper.

fish-and-veggie-foil-packet

Fold the left half of the foil back over the right.

Then slowly… and carefully…  match up the top half of the foil with the folded-up edges along the bottom half, rolling up the edges and sealing in the food, forming an air-tight packet.

The key is to not rush this step, perfectly sealing the packets along every edge, so nothing leaks out through the edges later on when the packets are flipped on the grill (can you guess I learned this the hard way?)

grilling-fish-packets

Next, here’s what I recommend for  a fool-proof, always perfect fish packet on the grill:  place the packets on a baking sheet on the grill and flip the packets once during cooking.

This means you will not end up with blackened grill marks when the food is finished cooking. The result will be similar to if you had cooked the packets in an oven.

But I love this method.

Because blackened, charred food isn’t healthy and is linked to increased cancer risk (see more on healthier grilling here)

And because it prevents inedible burnt-to-a-crisp-food every time (the grill can be a dangerous place for delicate foods like zucchini and white fish)!

The packets should cook for about 10 minutes on each side (first right-side-up, with the fish on top, and then flip so that the veggies are on top).

Then use a spatula to transfer the packets to plates, flipping so that they are right-side-up again, with the fish on top.

Use kitchen shears or a knife to cut a slit into the top center of one of the packets, so you can peel back the foil.

Go carefully with this – the steam that will burst from the packet is sort of impressive looking…but also extremely hot!

If the fish isn’t cooked, just place the packets back on the grill and cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Coconut-Lime-Fish-Pockets-for-the-Grill

When the fish is opaque and fully cooked throughout, top the fish and veggies with plenty of the freshly chopped cilantro.

Place the packets on plates and serve right out of the foil to preserve all of the richly flavored coconut broth.

Summer-Grilled-Coconut-Lime-Fish-Packets

What  you should end up with: a healthy, dinner-all-in-one, freshly grilled plate of summer goodness.

Zucchini-and-Corn-Fish-Grill-Packets

The fresh summer veggies are the stars here.

The dish is very light, very subtle.

With a hint of creamy coconut and a hint of bright, sweet lime.

Summer-Veggie-Fish-Pockets-for-Grilling

Just about perfect for a hot summer evening.

Here is the complete printable recipe:

Coconut-Lime White Fish Packets for the Grill
Author: 
Recipe type: Healthy Fish and Seafood
 
Total Time: 40 minutes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups corn kernels, fresh (2 ears) or frozen
  • 1 shallot, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 8 ounces cod (or other white fish such as haddock or halibut)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare grill for medium heat (about 400-425 degrees F).
  2. Tear off two large squares of aluminum foil, each about 10 inches in length. Fold each in half to create a fold line, then open, like a book.
  3. Arrange equal amounts of the corn, shallot, garlic, and zucchini in the center of the right half of each piece of foil, near the fold line.
  4. Fold up the sides of the right half of the foil, creating a ’bowl’ that contains the vegetables.
  5. To each packet add: 1½ tablespoons of canola oil, ¼ cup of light coconut milk, ½ tablespoon of lime zest.
  6. Season well with salt and pepper.
  7. Using hands, mix to combine ingredients.
  8. Cut the fish into two equally-sized portions and place on top of the veggies. Season fish well with salt and pepper.
  9. Fold over the left half of the foil, covering the food. Carefully roll the top half of the foil together with the edges of the right half of the foil, sealing all edges and creating an air-tight packet.
  10. Place the packets right-side-up (with the fish on top) on a baking sheet and set the baking sheet on the grill. Bake for about 8-10 minutes and then use a spatula to flip each packet. Cook for 8-10 minutes more.
  11. Use a spatula to remove the packets from the grill, flip so that they are again right-side-up (with the fish on top), and plate.
  12. Use kitchen shears or a knife to cut a slit through the top center of each packet to fold open. Open carefully - the steam that will rise from each packet is very hot. Check to be sure fish is opaque and cooked through to the center. If fish is not cooked through, place back on the baking sheet and grill for 8-10 minutes more. Top the fish and veggies with freshly chopped cilantro.
  13. Serve the fish pockets directly in the foil to retain all of the flavors from the coconut-lime broth.

 

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Comments

  1. Kristin says:

    Just when I when I was trying to plan something for dinner….this looks amazing! Thanks Jen! Looks like it will be coconut lime fish and the Bruins tonight! ;)

    • The Scrumptious Pumpkin says:

      Haha, well let me know how you like it if you decide to try it :) Enjoy your weekend!

  2. I love these types of light meals for summer, great flavors!
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted…strawberries & cream macaronsMy Profile

  3. Such a fresh, summery dish, I love your photos :D

    Cheers
    CCU
    CCU recently posted…CCU Undercover Diary: Adriano Zumbo PatisserieMy Profile

  4. Your photos are looking really nice lately! Love the color coordination.

  5. Fish pairs really nicely with coconut and lime. I like this dish and your photo is so nice with all the complementing greens and yellows.

  6. I love Montreal! It’s so pretty. And only a 6ish hour drive away!
    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) recently posted…Almost Paleo but Definitely Gluten-Free Banana Bread MuffinsMy Profile

  7. How perfect! These look amazing! What a lovely summer meal!
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe recently posted…Light and Fresh | Fettuccine Al-Fake-O!My Profile

  8. Wow this looks great, Jen!! I love your pictures and it’s so perfect for summer
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes recently posted…Southern Buttermilk Biscuits and a GIVEAWAY!My Profile

  9. This looks and sounds like a wonderful summer evening meal. Now If the rain would stop so that I can start cooking outside.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted…The Secret To A Great TomatoMy Profile

  10. This recipe looks like summer served on a plate :)
    Love the pictures of Montreal, interesting and beautiful.
    Daniela recently posted…Pears go glamour: poached with spices and served with orange butterMy Profile

  11. Jen, again a dish from you that just SCREAMS at me – and this I will do – love parcels … or as we chefs call it – “en papilotte”. Love Atlantic Cod …. but it’s so expensive -but for this dish I will treat myself.
    Your photos .. not going to say anything about them … at all this time.
    My little chef … I wish you and your boys, 2 legs and 4 legs … a wonderful summer.
    Viveka recently posted…weekly photo challenge – cruvesMy Profile

  12. Foil packets on the grill is actually my favorite way to cook fish! I only ever cook it for my dad when I visit my parents, and my mom hates the smell of fish so she always banishes it to the outside grill. Love the flavors in this!
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition recently posted…Father’s Day Weekend in PhotosMy Profile

  13. This looks delicious- thank you for posting! I just found your blog and am loving your recipes. Do you think this recipe would work in the oven? We live in an urban area without a space for a grill, but I’d love to still try this!

    • The Scrumptious Pumpkin says:

      Yes, absolutely, cooking fish foil packets in the oven is something I do often! I’ve never tried this particular recipe in the oven, but my best guess would be to heat the oven to 425 degrees F, place the foil packets on a baking sheet, and cook for about 20 minutes or so (no need to flip the packets when cooking in the oven). Good luck and hope you enjoy! :)

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