The best way to prepare really fresh sole is to simply fry it in butter. In French this is called Sole Meunière. Of course it is much easier to fry the sole perfectly in clarified butter than in regular butter, so I decided to celebrate my first batch of clarified butter by making sole meunière. This recipe is remarkably simple, but if you have fresh sole it will also be remarkably delicious!
Ask your fish monger to make the sole ready for pan-frying. This means removing the head and and cleaning it, as well as removing the skin.
Season the sole on both sides with salt and freshly ground white pepper, and let it rest for 15 minutes to half an hour.
Dust the sole with flour on both sides and shake off any excess flour.
Heat clarified butter in a non-stick frying pan.
Fry over high heat for a few minutes on each side until golden and just cooked through.
(A trick to tell whether it’s done is to insert a fork in the thickest part until you touch the bones. Then touch your lip with the fork. If the fork is warm, the fish is cooked.)
Serve on a warm plate with a slice of lemon. For a traditional sole meunière you could also spoon some of the buttery pan juices over the fish.
Don’t worry about the bones: you can easily eat the fish off of the bone with a regular fork and knife.
8 thoughts on “Sole Meunière”
Very nicely done, indeed. Love the color of the sole. I bet it was very delicate and incredibly delicious! I also love the technique with the fork. Typically, I touch the skin just underneath the lower lip because burning your lips is easier and a real no-no. 😉
I see what you mean about not wanting to burn your lips, but you’d be very late checking the temperature if that were to happen.
This is such a simple preparation and so very good, Stefan. WIth fish, simple is very often best. Sole is one of those cases, to be sure.
Thanks, John. I sometimes have to remind myself to still make the simple stuff, even if it is not that interesting to blog about 😉
Excellent stuff Stefan. One of my favourites. A sprinkling of parsley into the butter just before spooning is a nice addition too. Black sole is just coming into season here and is still a bit on the expensive side. I now know why you were suggesting clarified butter for my scallops.
That is a good-looking piece of fish. I love the tip about using the fork to tell if it’s done!