Wrasse Baked in Seaweed is an unusual but simple way of baking fish. The slow steaming of the fish in fresh seaweed retains the taste and aroma of the sea. Serve with Hollandaise Sauce and boiled new potatoes. Grey mullet or sea bass can be substituted if zurasse is unavailable. Green peppercorns can be bought, canned iti brine, at most delicatessens. Fresh seaweed is obtainable by request from most fishmongers.
2 X 3 lb. wrasse, cleaned, with the heads and tails left on
1 teaspoon salt
6 lb. fresh seaweed
1 ½ teaspoons green peppercorns, drained
4 oz. butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).
Wash the fish under cold running water. Pat them dry with kitchen paper towels. Rub the salt all over the fish and set them aside.
Cut out a double thickness of alu-minium foil, large enough to contain the 2 fish, and make a 1-inch pleat in the centre.
Place two-thirds of the seaweed length-ways along the centre of the aluminium foil and place the fish on the seaweed.
Sprinkle the peppercorns over the fish and dot the fish with the butter. Cover the fish with the remaining seaweed. Bring the edges of the foil up and over the fish and seaweed to cover them completely.
Place the enclosed fish on a large baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 1 hour or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Open the aluminium foil and remove and discard the top layer of seaweed. Neatly roll back the aluminium foil, exposing the fish and remaining bed of seaweed. Transfer to a large, heated serving plate and serve immediately.