The vast majority of the time when we grill, we toss a protein on and the entire family eats that same protein. What if we could introduce some options here? What if your individual family members got to choose what they wanted to have in their personalized meal? Why not set up an ingredient bar so everyone can pick what ingredients go onto their plate for dinner. Wrap up those ingredients in a foil packet and it makes it so much better as the foil will keep all the juices in the food. And if we made it all seafood, then we have a Seafood Foil Packet Bar.
What comprises a Seafood Foil Packet Bar? Well, we start with an amalgam of different ingredients that pair well with seafood that guests/family choose, along with a seafood protein, that will be placed in a foil packet and cooked on the grill, around a fire pit or next to a campfire. That’s why I’m proud to partner with Reynolds Wrap® for another year and use Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil for these packets. So guests get to customize their meal to whatever they like and the heavier duty foil keeps food delicious in the packet without breaking or tearing while grilling. The ingredients list for this cook will be more like a guideline than an end all, be all list. Look for what seafood looks good. Don’t pick the swordfish because it was on the list below but looks terrible in the fish case at the grocery store. Go with whatever veggies are fresh and in season in your region. Avoid any canned veggies or fruit. Go with fresh or skip the ingredient. The best thing anyone can do to make this event the best is to use the best quality ingredients.
Seafood Foil Packet Bar Ingredients:
Sugar snap peas
Portobello Mushrooms (thick sliced)
Brussel Sprouts (partially precooked or sliced)
Purple onion (diced)
Blood oranges slices
Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty aluminum foil
Other ingredients to keep on hand that guests may enjoy, but are not necessary:
Mirin (sweet sake)
Infused olive oils
Red pepper flakes
Toasted sesame seeds
Prep here is simple. Build a reasonably hot fire (north of 400f degrees but not above 600f), in the middle of the grill. Or build a fire in the firepit in the backyard or a campfire next to the RV or tent. Then, start making some packets. Here are some of the combos we came up with. I’ll show some that we made and then discuss which ones we liked the most and the one we failed on. Yep, we missed on one.
The first packet begins on a large sheet of aluminum foil, approximately 3 feet wide, folded in half. A layer of green beans is laid down, topped with a couple pats of butter, some slivered carrots, fresh garlic, salt and pepper and a little olive oil:
Then a nice chunk of that gorgeous halibut that I hit with salt and pepper and a little BBQ seasoning:
Then cap off that fish with an orange slice:
Then fold the Reynolds Wrap® up into a pouch:
When doing these for a crowd, grab a permanent marker and write the initials of the guest on his/her packet to keep them all straight. In this case, we just numbered them:
For the next packet the veggies were sugar snap peas and a little purple onion topped with 2 pats of butter and a splash each of soy sauce and fish sauce along with a little salt and black pepper:
Then a salmon filet, topped with a little salt and pepper then splashed with a dash of teriyaki and fish sauce:
Three lime slices finish this one nicely:
Next, fold up the foil into a pouch or packet and mark the outside with initials:
For the next dish, some fresh asparagus, salt and pepper and three pats of butter were laid on the Reynolds Wrap®:
Then some slices of portobello mushrooms:
Then a nice piece of sword fish, some salt and pepper, BBQ seasoning and a little olive oil:
I topped this one off with a blood orange slice:
Form the foil into a pouch and get onto the next dish.
Lay down some zucchini and yellow squash, purple onion, a couple pats of butter and salt and pepper:
Then some garlic, shrimp, and a little BBQ seasoning:
The squash doesn’t take very long to cook and neither does the shrimp so this is a perfect combo.
I topped these with lemon and lime slices:
Be careful that the tails of the shrimp don’t poke through the foil which is why I went with the heavy duty Reynolds Wrap®.
And our final packet was sliced Brussel sprouts, slivered carrots, purple onion, butter, salt and pepper, scallops and some thyme:
Let’s stop here for a moment. This one didn’t come out so well. Brussel sprouts take a while to cook. Sliced Brussel sprouts do not. So the veggies burned a bit. So keep an eye on the sliced Brussel sprouts or maybe leave them whole (or only slice into halves) and partially precook them in a little bacon grease before putting them into the pouch. Ah well, 4 out of 5 ain’t bad.
OK, let’s get to cooking. I have my grill set up with a pile of charcoal in the middle and placed the five pouches around the edges:
Wait until the sound of sizzling can be heard from inside the foil and then leave them for 10 minutes before rotating the pouches:
Then wait another five minutes before checking the temp of the fish, but don’t open pouches. Opening the pouches will halt the cooking process. Some of you are wondering how to take the temp of the fish without opening the foil. Grab a probe thermometer and poke right through the foil and into the fish. That little hole won’t allow enough heat to escape to matter. Our target temp here is between 135f-145f:
Now remove the packets from the grill/firepit/campfire, open them up and dig in but be careful handling as the packet will be extremely hot. Use gloves or tongs to slide packets from the grill onto a plate, platter or cutting board.
First up, the salmon:
I went with this one first because it was the best. The teriyaki, soy, and fish sauce really made this one pop. It was the favorite by a landslide:
The beauty of this process is that everyone can eat right out of the packet and then just ball up the Reynolds Wrap® for easy clean up. Here is the halibut and green beans right off the grill:
Or you could lift out the fish with a spatula to transfer everything to a plate:
Dump the veggies onto a plate or into a bowl and place the fish back on top:
And here we have a phenomenal dish:
Look at that halibut glisten:
Here are the shrimps:
And this is the swordfish, asparagus, mushrooms and a blood orange on top:
What we learned from all this is that a little Asian sauce goes a long way. A little white wine might be a nice addition to the ingredients list as well as balsamic vinegar. Also, if I were to do this again tomorrow, I would add mushrooms to every packet. I might have a variety of mushrooms to go along with the portobellos like button mushrooms and shiitakes, or whatever I can find. The key here is to go with what you like and what is in season. Otherwise, have fun and experiment.
I’m proud to partner with Reynolds Wrap® for another year on this post.
- Green beans
- Slivered carrots
- Sugar snap peas
- Yellow squash
- Portobello Mushrooms (thick sliced)
- Brussel Sprouts (partially precooked or sliced)
- Purple onion (diced)
- Orange slices
- Blood oranges slices
- Lime slices
- Lemon slices
- Garlic, minced
- Fresh herbs
- Olive oil
- Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty aluminum foil
- Place a layer of veggies on a large sheet of Reynolds Wrap® folded in half
- Add a couple pats of butter, salt and pepper and any garlic or onions you might like
- Top with a filet of fish or handful of shrimp
- Season the fish or shrimp with salt and pepper and possibly a BBQ rub
- Drizzle the top with a little olive oil
- Top the fish or shrimp with a slice of citrus fruit
- Close up the foil into packet and place around the edge of 400-600 degree fire in the middle of the grill, around a fire pit or next to a campfire
- Once the ingredients start to sizzle inside, wait 10 minutes and then rotate the packets 180 degrees
- Use a probe thermometer to check the temp of the fish inside the packet by poking the probe into the packet
- Target temp is 135f-145f
- Once the fish comes to temp, remove the packet from the grill and serve