Bass Wrapped in Lettuce

Following a traditional Christmas in Suffolk (Turkey or Quorn roast with all the trimmings, a disappointing episode of Doctor Who and Israel bombing Palestine, etc) we had a second, less traditional Christmas dinner a few days later in Berlin (Some photos here). This lettuce-wrapped bass was the main attraction, served alongside an indulgent Gratin Dauphinois and a flourish of buttered French beans.

Bass Wrapped in Lettuce

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:
15 minutes
Skill level: easy/medium


  • bass – 1.4kg (3lb)
  • 2 romaine lettuces
  • shallots – 6-10
  • white wine – 6 tbsp
  • butter – a big knob
  • flour – some
  • single cream – 3 tbsp
  • garlic – 1 clove
  • 1 egg yolk
  • olive oil
  • s & p

Start by washing, skinning and de-boning the fish fillets.

Cut in half, season and roll in flour.

Fry the fillets in melted butter and olive oil for a minute on each side and reserve.

Remove the outer leaves of the lettuce and plunge into a pan of boiling water. Remove immediately and rinse in cold water. Shake dry, cut in half lengthways (removing the central vein) and lay flat on a tea towel.

Wrap the fish fillets in the lettuce leaves and set aside.

Generously butter a large gratin dish (or deep baking tray) and sprinkle with finely chopped shallots. Cut the 2 lettuce hearts in half and place on top of the shallots. Then add the fish and pour over 6 tbsp of white wine.

Bake in a preheated oven (180C/gas mark 4) for 12 minutes.

Bass Wrapped in Lettuce

Remove the fish and lettuce hearts and place on a warm serving dish.

Strain the cooking liquor into a pan and reduce over a high heat to about 175ml. Mix together the egg yolk and cream and add to the pan. Give it a quick whisk, remove from the heat and stir in a very generous (50g) knob of butter. Season to taste.

Serve the fish and lettuce and pour over some of the sauce.

Sprinkle with chopped, peeled and de-seeded tomato if the urge grabs you.

Verdict: The fish was moist and succulent and the sauce rich and piquant. There is more to a lettuce than salad.

Drink: Lager with Campari, pink Champagne, red El Coto, golden desert wine.

Entertainment: Opening of Christmas presents before and an unexpected yuletide PowerPoint presentation afterwards.

1 Comment

  1. I can confirm that this was an excellent dish, beautifully cooked and with just the right flavour!

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