Food is Medicine – Paperbark Fish

This recipe is a great way to enhance the flavour of fish, whilst enjoying the smoky flavour given by the paperbark and fire. Seafood is a vital part of the diets of many Aboriginal people who reside close to the coast.

Generally fish is low in fat and cholesterol, whilst providing a  good source of protein and vitamin B. Certain species of fish also contain vitamins A, D and omega-3 fatty acids (which can reduce the risk of heart attacks!).



  • 1 piece of paperbark (large enough to wrap around your fish);
  • 1 tblsp coconut oil;
  • 1 bush lemon, thinly sliced;
  • 1 piece of fresh salt- water fish, scaled and gutted (do not use fillets);
  • Warrigal greens (sea spinach) and taro to serve. ¬†



  1. Soak the paperbark in water for approximately one hour;
  2. Light a fire and leave burning until the flames have died down, but the coals are still red;
  3. Rub the fish with a small amount of coconut oil;
  4. Place the fish in the paperbark, add the lemon slices;
  5. Wrap the paperbark around the fish and secure with cooking twine;
  6. Place the fish on grill and cook for approximately 10 minutes on each side (time will depend on the thickness of the fish).
  7. Serve with steamed warrigal greens and baked taro.


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