Papillote of seafood

For the ultimate dîner à deux, dip into Jean-Christophe Novelli’s dramatic seafood dish

  • Cook:40 mins
    Ready in 30-40 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 251
  • fat 9g
  • saturates 4g
  • carbs 10g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 25g
  • salt 1.09g


  • 2 splashes of olive oil
  • 1 red onion, halved and cut lengthways into slim wedges
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 baby fennel bulbs (or 1 small regular one), finely sliced on the diagonal
  • a nugget of fresh root ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 star anise
  • a small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 600g bag mussels, scrubbed
  • 140g shelled raw tiger prawns, defrosted if frozen
  • about 100ml/3½ fl oz white wine
  • about 3-4 tbsp coconut milk
  • two 30 x 42cm sheets of non-stick baking parchment (approx A3 size) and string


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/ gas 7/fan 200C. Heat a splash of oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, spring onions, fennel, ginger, lemongrass, star anise and coriander and toss over a high heat for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.

  2. Throw in the garlic and season to taste, then shoot in the mussels and prawns and splash in the wine – just enough to moisten the mussels without drowning them. Cover and cook for 30 seconds -1 minute only, then remove from the heat and check the mussels are open – if they’re not, put the pan back on the heat for a few seconds until they are.

  3. Scoop the mussels and vegetables out into a bowl, using a slotted spoon (leave the juices in the pan). Pour the coconut milk into the pan (use the same quantity as the liquid already there) and boil for about 4 minutes until reduced to a thickish, syrupy jus. Return the mussels and vegetables to the pan, drizzle with a little oil and shake to mix everything together.

  4. Take a sheet of non-stick baking parchment and push it into a deep medium-sized saucepan. Spoon in half the mussels and vegetables and one star anise. Lift the paper out and twist the top to make a money bag. Tie tightly with string then make another bag. 5 Stand the bags in a large baking dish or roasting tin, then give them a quick blast in the oven for 3-4 minutes – just until you can see the crunched tops of the paper start to scorch. Lift the bags out, stand each one on a plate and untie. At the table, open the bags and breathe in the wonderful aroma before tucking in.

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