Papillotte of Kumu with Basil, Seaweed, and Shiitake Mushrooms
Kumu is a small member of the goatfish family, and like its cousins moano and weke, it’s often fried whole. Steaming in parchment paper allows the fish to make its own sauce, enhanced by a surprising combination of ingredients.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 4 tablespoons
- Shiitake Mushrooms - 8 ounces, stemmed and sliced
- Maui or other sweet white onions - 1 cup, thinly sliced
- Kumu or Red Snapper Fillets - 1-1/2 pounds, kin on
- Ogo (seaweed) - 1 cup
- Fresh Basil Sprigs - 4, stemmed and minced
- Dry white wine - 1/4 cup
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Fish stock or clam juice - 1/4 cup, mixed with 1/4 cup water
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Egg Yolk - 1, beaten
In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and saute the mushrooms for 2 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and saute the onions for 2 minutes, or until translucent. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Cut the fish into eight 1-inch-thick pieces. Cut 4 circles of parchment paper 14 inches in diameter. Fold the paper in half to make a center crease. Open the paper toward you and arrange the ingredients in the center: on 1 paper circle, layer one-fourth of the onions, two fillet pieces, and one-fourth of the mushrooms, ogo, basil, white wine, olive oil, and diluted fish stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Repeat with remaining 3 circles. Brush the inner edge of the paper with the beaten egg and fold the paper in half over the ingredients. Beginning at the crease, fold the cut edges upward and back over themselves in 2-inch sections, sealing as you work and forming a twisted edge. Paper clip the final twist to hold tightly. It will look like a large tart.
Place the papillottes in a large dry ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat just until they begin to puff. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. The parchment will puff slightly.
To serve: Place a packet on each serving plate. Snip open with scissors at the table and roll back to reveal the fish.