Microwave Cooking: Salmon with Crème Fraîche and Dill in Parchment

Sunday February 26, 2017

folding the edges of a parchment package ready for cooking/directions in step 2

This is a recipe from the Not Your Mother’s family of cookbooks–Microwave Cooking. This book is about fast, easy, soul satisfying, nutritious home style cooking that rivals fast food and frozen entrees time wise, but using instead fresh and pantry ingredients instead. I collected recipes that do what the microwave does best, from vegetables, potatoes, and hot breakfast cereals to sauces, custards, jams. Never made candy? Now you can and get it right first try. How about a tomato sauce for pasta in under 10 minutes? Fish cooks better and with the least fuss in the microwave than any other method. Please don’t miss a yummy hot chocolate for a pick-me-up, and range of really special hot teas.

Cooking fish “in parchment,” is so simple you can assemble the packets in a few minutes once you have your ingredients. The edges are folded to create a little cooking bag which becomes an airtight steaming pouch. It is one of the fastest methods for cooking fish with the least cleanup. You want a full one-quarter cup of each vegetable for each packet.

In this recipe, the salmon and vegetables with be in their own creamy sauce. You will cook 2 packages at a time. It is remarkably simple to prepare and you can adapt this recipe to other firm fleshed fish, such as halibut, and use sour cream or plain Greek yogurt in place of the creme fraiche (but the creme fraiche is oh so luscious).

Do not leave the microwave unattended while the fish is cooking since it cooks so fast. Please note the cook time is tailored to the wattage of the microwave. If you have a lower wattage, you will add some cook time 30 seconds at a time.


Cookware: 10-inch Pyrex pie plate or ceramic plate

Microwave Wattage: 1,100 to 1,300

Cook Time: About 3 minutes

Standing Time: 2 minutes

Serves 4


  • Four 12-inch-square sheets parchment paper
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 4 (6- to 8-ounces each) 3/4- to 1-inch thick salmon fillets, skin on
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
  • About 1 cup julienne zucchini
  • About 1 cup sliced white mushrooms

fresh salmon fillet which can be cut into portions


1. Fold the parchment in half to form a crease. Spread butter liberally below the crease. Place the salmon fillet on the buttered parchment. Season. Top each fillet with 2 tablespoons crème fraîche, then sprinkle with dill. Divide the vegetables equally between the 4 fillets and season lightly again

2. Fold over the top of the parchment. Starting at the right side of the fish, fold 1/2-inch of the parchment over in 2-inch increments, crimping the edges making sure the previous fold is covered a bit with succeeding fold to securely wrap the salmon airtight. Place 2 packages on the pie plate or plate side by side.

3. Place in the oven and microcook on HIGH for 3 minutes. Test for doneness; unwrap salmon which will just flake at the touch of a fork. If not, rewrap and microcook in 20 second intervals and testing again. Remove from the oven and transfer bags with a spatula to individual dinner plates. Let stand 2 minutes or while you cook the other pair of packages.

4. To serve, using a steak knife or scissors, let each diner tear open their own bag of fragrant salmon with creamy vegetables.

photo courtesy of alamy

Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Microwave Cooking, by Beth Hensperger. (c) 2010, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2017

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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