Whole paper-baked fish with potato skins and tartare

Fish and chips with a twist - this recipe for whole paper-baked fish gives a gourmet edge to a Kiwi classic. Cook on the BBQ and serve with chunky potato skins and homemade tartare sauce

  • 20 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 2
  • Print
Recipes and styling by : Jo Wilcox.
Photography by : Melanie Jenkins.
This recipe first appeared in Food magazine.
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Whole paper-baked fish with potato skins
  • 1 medium-sized firm white fish
  • 30 gram butter, softened
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • small bunch fresh herbs; parsley, thyme and bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic and herb sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 to 4 medium potatoes
Tartare sauce
  • 1 cup thick and creamy mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
  • 2 gherkins, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced


Whole paper-baked fish with potato skins
  • 1
    Preheat barbecue to medium. Soak 6 double sheets of newspaper in cold water for 5 minutes, until soaked but not falling apart.
  • 2
    Rub butter inside and all over the fish; season. Fill cavity with the herbs and lemon, then wrap the fish in a large piece of baking paper. Place in the damp newsprint, and wrap, tucking the ends under to create a parcel.
  • 3
    Combine oil, flavoured salt and paprika. Cut potatoes lengthways into eighths and toss in oil mixture.
  • 4
    Turn the middle burners off the barbecue and place the fish parcel in the centre of the grill with the potatoes around it; leave the remaining burners going, ensuring they are not in the direct line of the food.
  • 5
    Cook with the hood down (see recipe tip). The fish and potatoes should cook in about 15 minutes. Rest fish for 5 minutes before unwrapping.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, make the tartare sauce (see below).
  • 7
    Serve the fish with the potato skins on the side and a dollop of tartare.
Tartare sauce
  • 8
    Combine all ingredients and season to taste.


  • You could use snapper, terakihi or any firm white fish in this recipe. Ask your fishmonger to clean and gut it for you. Salmon, whole or filleted is also a tasty option. If you are concerned about the newspaper burning, you can give it extra protection by wrapping in tin foil. - If your barbecue doesn’t have a hood, you can improvise by using a large terracotta pot as a cover. You could also use a foil tray or a heavy baking dish to create an oven effect. - PER SERVE Energy 742kcal, 3108kj • Protein 23.2g • Total Fat 54.8g • Saturated Fat 11g • Carbohydrate 40.2g • Fibre 6.1g • Sodium 459mg