This simple pan-fried sole recipe highlights the fish’s delicate texture and flavor and does not overpower them.
Sole is a mild fish with a delicate texture and flavor. You don’t want to overwhelm this fish with lots of spices and ingredients.
That’s why I love this simple, delicious recipe that uses just a little butter to enhance the sole’s naturally delicate flavor. It’s very tasty, easy to make, and you can keep it gluten-free if you use almond flour.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this pan-fried sole recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Sole fillets: I use skinless fillets. I normally buy them frozen and defrost overnight in the fridge.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use.
Flour: Or use blanched almond flour instead. It’s an excellent flour substitute.
Unsalted butter: I love using European butter, it’s so creamy and flavorful. But any butter will be great.
Lemon and parsley: For serving. You can skip the parsley, but a squirt of fresh lemon juice greatly enhances this dish.
How to make pan-fried sole
It’s easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. You start by seasoning the fish with salt and pepper.
2. Next, dust both sides of each fillet with flour. Shake the excess off – you want the fish very thinly coated.
3. Cook the fish in butter until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Start with medium-high heat, but lower it to medium after flipping the fish. Garnish and serve.
The most important thing is to avoid overcooking the fish, or it will turn out very dry. I find that 3 minutes per side over medium to medium-high heat is perfect.
How to serve pan-fried sole
Rather than pouring warm butter-lemon sauce over the fish, as traditional recipes suggest, I prefer to serve the fish with lemon wedges on the side.
This allows diners to squirt a little lemon juice on top of their fish right before they eat it. I find that serving it this way ensures crispy, non-soggy fish.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep okay in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 3 days. But they are not as good as when fresh. Reheat the leftovers very gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
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Pan-Fried Sole Recipe
- 4 (6 oz) skinless sole fillets
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour, or blanched almond flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
- Parsley for garnish
- Season the sole fillets with salt and pepper, then dust with flour on both sides, shaking the excess off.
- In two large nonstick skillets, or in a double-burner nonstick griddle, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add the fish.
- Cook the fish, turning once with two wide spatulas, until golden-brown, about 3 minutes on each side. You might need to lower the heat to medium after turning, depending on how hot your pan gets.
- Transfer the fish to plates. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.