A classic French dish, quick, simple and delicious.
We will be using one of the most coveted soles, from Dover. As most of our fish, it comes from Pesky Fish. Avoid buying during the breeding season (April to June), it helps maintain the fish stocks healthy. Sole will be more mature and larger from February to April.
Having a juicy flesh with densely packed muscle fibres, the sole benefits from having its skin caramelised in butter to yield sweet nutty notes. The lemon provides freshness that neutralises the richness of the butter. Parsley helps in this regard too by adding herbal and grassy notes. This recipe is inspired by the techniques found in Institut Paul Bocuse’s book.
Dover sole meunièreCourse: MainCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium
Dover sole (around 500g)
plain flour (to cover the fish)
15g vegetable oil
80g unsalted butter
juice of ½ a lemon
1 tbsp of chopped parsley
salt and pepper
- Start with dressing the sole: remove the black skin (or ask your fishmonger!). If the fish is fresh, the black skin will come away without damaging the flesh.
- Take a pair of scissors, trim the sole around removing all the fins.
- Make a shallow cut in the black skin at the tail.
- Place the fish on a flat surface, hold with one hand and start pulling away the skin (do it in sections to avoid damaging the fillets).
- Pat dry the fish, then season with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge with flour.
- Set a shallow large pan at high heat. Add oil and 40g of butter.
- Once it’s hot, place the sole on the pan white skin down and fry for 3 min.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and turn the fish to cook the other side for 2 min.
- Meanwhile, baste the top side with warm butter.
- Transfer the fish from the pan onto a warm plate and let it rest while we make the sauce.
- Discard the used butter from the pan and add 40g butter and heat until it starts to brown.
- Then pour in the lemon juice and bring to boil. Add parsley and immediately pour the sauce evenly over the sole.