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Pan fried fillets of lemon sole recipe

Pan fried fillets of lemon sole recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Seafood
  • Fish
  • Flatfish
  • Sole

A simple dish that brings out the flavour and soft texture of the fish. I find that it is good to be served with rice.

Devon, England, UK

26 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 knobs butter
  • 2 fillets lemon sole fish
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons plain flour

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:30min

  1. In a small bowl combine the garlic, lemon juice and rosemary and mix well; set aside. Melt one knob butter in a frying pan over a medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, pat the fish dry with kitchen paper. Season the fillets with salt and pepper and rub into the flesh. Place the flour on a plate then dredge the fish in the flour. Transfer immediately to the hot pan, skin side down, and fry until the skin is golden brown, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat then flip the fish over and cover to keep the heat in, allowing to cook through until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5 to 8 minutes. Place on a serving plate and cover with tin foil to keep warm.
  3. Return to the lemon juice, drain and save only the juice. Melt the remaining butter in the same frying pan that the fish was cooked in, add a little salt and pepper and pour in the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer then pour over the fish and serve immediately.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

Very nice.-03 Oct 2015

    • •1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • •4 sole fillets
    • •1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • •4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • •1 lemon, ends trimmed
    • •2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
    1. 1.Place the flour on a plate. 2.Season the sole with the salt and then coat it in the flour, shaking to remove any excess set aside. 3.Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Slice the lemon into 12 thin circles and add them to the skillet. Cook until the lemon is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. 4.Push the lemon to the side of the skillet and add the sole. (You may need to cook it in batches.) Cook until the sole is the same color throughout and flakes easily, about 2 minutes per side. 5.Add the remaining butter and the capers to the skillet. Remove from heat and tilt the skillet to swirl the butter until it melts. 6.Transfer the sole and lemon to individual plates and spoon the capers and butter over the top.

    Pan-fried petrale sole

    It may be true that in the eyes of God, all soles are equal. But on the California dinner plate, petrale is king.

    There are other regional seafood specialties that are equally compelling in their own way and in their own time -- Dungeness crab in dead winter, wild salmon in the spring, fresh sardines, squid, sand dabs and anchovies whenever they’re running.

    But although other fish may compare with petrale, none surpass it. Petrale sole is as good as it gets. The flesh is fine-textured and delicately nutty. There’s a tinge of sweetness. And call me a wine geek, but I think there’s a subtle minerality to the flavor.

    Now is the time to enjoy petrale. Though it is available year-round, the fish, primarily caught from Monterey north, have moved into shallower waters for spawning and are practically volunteering to be caught. They are at their most plentiful from January through March.

    As with any other great ingredient, there is a ladder of preparation you should follow. The first time you fix it, start on the bottom, most basic, rung to best appreciate the flavor. In the case of petrale, brush it with a little butter, broil it and serve it with lemon wedges on the side.

    Once you’ve got the taste in your mouth, you can move on to more complicated recipes. The next step I’d recommend is breading it and pan-frying it in butter. Simple as it is, this is a dish to swoon over. I served it last weekend with some tender little turnips that I’d braised with minced shallots. It was incredible with a 2001 Clos du Val Chardonnay, one of the crisper California whites.

    Breading food for frying is one of those things that makes some people a little nuts. If you’re doing it right, it’s messy, and if you’re doing it wrong, it’s awful. You wind up with chunks of coating floating in the fat and nothing left sticking to the fish.

    The first thing you need to know is that there’s more to breading than bread crumbs. You need something to make the bread crumbs stick. The best glue is an egg wash -- just a whole egg and a little water beaten smooth with a fork.

    But it doesn’t matter how much egg wash you use, the crumbs still won’t stick if the surface of the filet is wet. You’ll just wind up with slightly bigger clumps in the pan.

    To make sure the surface is good and dry, you need to dredge the fish in flour. That will absorb any surface moisture and ensure a good bond with the egg wash and bread crumbs.

    It’s a three-step process: flour, egg wash and bread crumbs. The pros use just one hand for dipping in the flour, egg wash and bread crumbs, leaving the other free (and clean) to press the coating into place and transfer the food to the fryer. That’s a bit too much like rubbing my belly and patting my head at the same time for me, so I just resign myself to having to wash my hands as soon as I’m done.

    The other trick is to make sure the fat is hot enough before you add the food. If it’s not, the coating will soak up all the oil and wind up gloppy and unappetizing. It’s easy enough to check: Just touch a corner of the breaded food to the fat. If it’s hot enough, you’ll hear a delicious sizzling sound. If it’s not, wait 20 or 30 seconds more and try again.

    Frying in butter makes a difference in flavor, but if your conscience won’t allow it, peanut oil or corn oil will work well too.

    There are dishes more complicated than this, but none that taste better. The French culinary lexicon is full of names for sole filets poached and garnished in different ways. Petrale is the best West Coast substitute for any of those.

    In fact, though we call petrale a sole, it is not. That is only a term of, shall we say, commercial convenience. In the early days, it was a way of selling an unfamiliar product to a transplanted audience, just as red wine from Modesto used to be called Burgundy and blue cheese from Petaluma Roquefort.

    True sole is a family of North Atlantic fish (Solea) that is not found on our coast. Our flatfish are members primarily of the far-flung halibut and flounder clans.

    So even though we now have English sole, gray sole, lemon sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole and rex sole (another really good fish, very close to the sand dab), they are all pretenders.

    This is a matter of more than ichthyologic interest. Perhaps the grossest example of misnaming is the so-called West Cost Dover sole.

    Now there is a true Dover sole and it is quite a fish -- connoisseurs consider it the king of all flatfish. But unless you’re paying more than $20 a pound, that is not the fish you’re buying in West Coast fish markets. West Coast Dover is Microstomus pacificus while the Atlantic is Solea solea (so good they had to name it twice!).

    But you’ve got to admit that “Dover sole” is far catchier than its other name, slime sole, even though the latter is probably closer to the truth. This sole, particularly when it is caught in deep water, has a tendency to turn to jelly when cooked.

    I know this from personal experience. Many years ago I was hosting a dinner party and thought I’d do a little Dover sole en papillote -- steamed with aromatic vegetables in individual handmade paper sacks to be opened at the table. When my guests cut open those painstakingly prepared bags, the fish had melted into . well, we’ll leave the description to your imagination.

    That would never happen with petrale. It may not be a true sole, but it sure knows how to act like one. And in California, that’s what counts.

    Best Sole Meuniere Recipe with Butter Sauce

    Because the soles are quite large here, I mostly buy one big bugger for the hubs and me and then I cut it in half right before pan frying it. But when I am back in Belgium I like the smaller ones.

    There is this type of small sole that is called sliptong (sometimes wrongfully written ‘slibtong’) and is a bit cheaper than the dover sole.

    Are you not fond of fish on the bone?

    Of course you can use fillets here!

    Decide for yourself how many fillets you want, coat them in flour and then bake the fillets golden in butter. Same prepping and execution.

    Personally I prefer whole fish over fillets.

    Sole with Lemon-Caper Sauce

    Using a paper towel, dry the sole fillets very well. Season the fish evenly with 1 teaspoon salt. Heat a medium skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. When the butter is fully melted and the bubbles have subsided, dredge both sides of 2 fillets in the flour. Shake off the excess flour and add the fish to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium high. Cook the fillets until beginning to brown around the edges on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a fish spatula, flip the fish gently and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove the fillets to a plate and continue with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter and fish.

    When all 4 fillets are cooked and out of the skillet, add the capers and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice and stir, scraping up the bits from the bottom. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Simmer for about 2 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly. Finish the sauce by stirring in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, chili paste and oregano. Spoon the sauce over the fish, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

    Consider pre-heating your dinner plates in the oven on the very lowest setting. Sole will cool quickly, due to its large surface area, and is far better served warm.

    Prepare a drying rack. Ideally, use a wire mesh rank on a rimmed cookie sheet, if you have one. In a pinch, you can cut open a brown grocery bag.

    Whisk egg and milk together add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

    Set out 3 plates. Place egg mixture in one, spread flour in another, and breadcrumbs in the third.

    Take rinsed and dried fillets, and:

    1) dredge in flour, and shake off excess. Then,

    2) coat with egg, and wipe off excess, then

    3) coat liberally with seasoned breadcrumbs

    Wait until you are only about 6 minutes away from sitting down and eating, then proceed. Sole cools very quickly.

    Put large flat saute pan on medium high, place olive oil in it, and allow it to come up to full heat, about 2 minutes. Do not rush this step you really want the pan piping hot! Then, place sole in the pan, placing it gently down away from you to prevent hot oil from splattering on you. Wait about 2 minutes, until filets are browned, and flip.

    3 1/2 rounded cups finely ground Dried Bread Crumbs

    Canned & Jarred Goods
    1/4 cup Dijon mustard
    1/4 generous cup minced drained gherkin pickles
    2 rounded tablespoons drained capers, minced
    3/4 cup mayonnaise
    Flavorless vegetable oil, as needed

    Dairy & Eggs
    6 extra-large eggs
    Unsalted butter, as needed (optional)

    Dry Goods
    1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

    Meat & Seafood
    6 large lemon sole fillets (generous 8 ounces each)

    1 large clove garlic, minced (optional)
    1 or 2 garlic cloves, flattened (optional)
    1 teaspoon strained fresh lemon juice
    1/4 generous cup minced yellow onion
    2 rounded tablespoons each: thinly sliced fresh chives and minced flat-leaf Italian parsley
    2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives or minced flat-leaf Italian parsley (optional)
    Lemon wedges, for serving

    Spices & Baking
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    To set up to bread the fish

    Put the flour on a shallow rectangular tray or baking sheet and season it lightly with salt and black pepper. Use a fork to beat the eggs in a 13 x 9-inch dish and, if desired, stir in the minced herbs and garlic. Place the eggs next to the tray of flour. Place the dried bread crumbs on another shallow rectangular tray and position this on the other side of the eggs. Line one or two more large shallow trays with wax paper. Rinse the fillets and dry them well. Sprinkle them lightly, on both sides, with salt and pepper.

    To bread the fish and chill

    Working with two fillets at a time, dredge (coat) each one, on both sides, in the seasoned flour and shake off the excess. Lay each fillet, side by side, in the beaten eggs, and then turn them over to coat both sides well. Lift both fillets out of the eggs and let any excess drip back into the dish. Lay the fish on top of the crumbs, and then turn them both, to coat the other side. Turn the fillets in the crumbs, several times, while using your working hand to press the crumbs gently onto both sides, until the fillets are heavily coated with crumbs. Lay the breaded fillets on the prepared trays. If using one tray, fill the tray then cover that layer with wax paper. Lay the remaining breaded fish on top. After each batch (2 fillets), rinse and dry your hands, before continuing. Cover the breaded fillets with plastic wrap and refrigerate, for at least an hour.

    To make the tartar sauce

    Use a rubber spatula to combine the mayonnaise, mustard, onions, pickles, capers, lemon juice, herbs and black pepper, to taste, in a bowl. Refrigerate the sauce, covered, until needed.

    To fry the fish, drain and serve

    Place two large wire cooling racks close to the stove. Heat one or two 12 to 14-inch nonstick skillets over medium-high heat and, when hot, add enough vegetable oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan, to a depth of 1/4-inch. When the oil is just hot, add the flattened garlic, if using, and press on it with a heatproof utensil, as you allow it to brown and flavor the oil. Remove garlic (tastes great!) and, when the oil is nice and hot, but not smoking, add a tablespoon of butter to the pan, if desired, and let it sizzle and melt, without allowing it to color.

    Add two breaded fish fillets to the hot fat, in a single layer, and fry them until golden brown and crisp on both sides, turning once, about 4 minutes per side (see below). Transfer each fillet directly to the wire rack and use paper towels to gently blot off any excess oil from the top. Continue to fry the remaining fish. If, at any time, the bottom of the pan accumulates too many over browned crumbs, dump out all the oil, wipe out the skillet and heat fresh oil, before frying the next batch. Serve the fish hot with the tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

    Timing is Everything

    The fish can be breaded one day ahead and kept refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap.

    The tartar sauce can be made two days ahead and kept refrigerated, covered.

    The fish can be fried up to 30 minutes before serving. To reheat, place the fillets, on their wire racks, on two shallow baking sheets and place the sheets into a preheated 375oF oven, on the upper and lower third shelves. Heat just until the fish is hot throughout, about 5 minutes, making sure not to overcook it.

    On Turning Large, Pan-Fried Foods, Safely

    To avoid getting inadvertently burned when turning a large fillet or cutlet, when pan-frying, it’s important to use the right type of turning spatulas. You’ll need two long (preferably perforated) metal spatulas, each with an elbow bend. I use metal, even when cooking in a nonstick pan, since these are the sturdiest of all the turning spatulas.

    To turn food safely, after it’s browned on one side, use your working hand to insert one spatula under the food, at one end, going as far across the bottom as possible. Using your nonworking hand, lay the second spatula on top of the food, with the handle positioned on the opposite side. Lift the bottom spatula, holding the food, and carefully turn it over, using the second spatula to ease it back into the hot oil. Always bring the food as close as possible to the oil before releasing it, to prevent hot fat from splashing out.

    Julia Child’s Fillets of Sole Meuniere


    • 4-6 skinless boneless fillets of sole
    • 1/2 c flour
    • 5-6 Tb clarified butter
    • Fresh parsley chopped
    • Lemon wedges
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 Tb capers Optional


    Bon Appetit! Follow on Twitter @JC100

    This post may contain amazon affiliate links which means if you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I will receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Filed Under: Dinner, French Recipes

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    Sole with Lemon Caper Sauce

    Using paper towels, pat the sole fillets very dry. Season the fish with the salt. Heat a medium skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter to the pan. When the butter is melted and the bubbles have subsided, dredge 2 fillets on both sides with the flour. Shake off the excess and add the fish to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium high.

    Cook the fish for 2 to 3 minutes on the first side or until they start to brown around the edges. Using a wide spatula, flip the fillets gently and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove the fillets to a plate and cook the remaining fish, adding another tablespoon each of oil and butter to the pan. Keep the fish warm.

    Add the garlic and capers to the pan and stir over medium heat for about 15 seconds or until fragrant. Add the lemon juice and chicken stock and stir, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for about 2 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly. Finish the sauce by stirring in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the parsley, and oregano. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve

    Watch the video: Pan Fried Lemon Sole Recipe. Simple Pan Fried Fish Fillet Recipe. How to cook Lemon Sole (May 2022).