When it comes to sole recipes, the simplest preparation of pan-fried sole is the best because it highlights the fish’s delicate texture and flavor and does not overpower them.
I love this simple, delicious pan-fried sole recipe that uses just a little butter to enhance the fish’s naturally delicate flavor.
Sole is a mild fish with a delicate texture and flavor, so this simple preparation is ideal for it. You don’t want to overwhelm this fish with lots of spices and ingredients.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty 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.
- 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.
- Unsalted butter: I love using European butter, it’s so flavorful.
- Lemon and parsley: For serving.
How to make this pan-fried sole recipe
It’s easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- Start by seasoning the fish with salt and pepper.
- Next, dust both sides of each fillet with flour. Shake the excess off – you want the fish very thinly coated.
- Cook 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.
Is pan-fried sole a healthy recipe?
I believe it is. While sole fish is not as high in healthy fats like salmon, it is still a healthy choice, especially wild-caught Pacific sole. And butter, for most healthy people, is harmless (though some experts disagree).
The only problem ingredient here is the flour. But I don’t use a lot of it (it comes to about 2 tablespoons per serving). And you can certainly use almond flour instead. Just make sure you use blanched almond flour and not a coarse almond meal.
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?
I don’t usually have leftovers when making this pan-fried sole recipe. When I do, I find that they 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.