As Julia Child’s first lunch when she arrived in Paris, this dish is a perfect welcome to debunk the notion that French food is pretentious or heavy. On the contrary, sole meunière is light, rustic, and extremely easy to make.
The word meunière means the fish is prepared in the style of “miller’s wife” which is basically dredging them in flour and lightly frying them. This flour forms a light protective barrier around the delicate sole fish and adds crispiness to the dish. Sole is a very subtle and delicate fish which means we should be using light and simple sauce to complement its flavor, instead of overwhelm it.
The taste of sole pairs well with the nutty flavor of our lemon-y brown butter sauce and elevated with the aroma of parsley as well as the bite from our capers.
This dish is perfect for a quick lunch or supper during weekdays and I guarantee you this piece of fish will be one the most flavorful dish you’ve ever tasted.
You first want to mix all-purpose flour with salt and pepper to taste. Then dredge our fish and pat the fillets so they are evenly coated as well as shaking off any excess.
Then you want to heat up some oil (with high smoke point) and pan fry our fish for 1-2 minutes on each side. This depends on the thickness of our fish. Sole is generally very thin and 1-2 minutes is all you need but if you are cooking thicker fillets, then cook it around 3-4 minutes on each side.
Once both sides are fried, I usually like to put it on a hot plate or wrap it with aluminum foil to ensure it’s warm while we’re making our sauce.
To make the sauce, melt our butter until it’s slightly brown. This brown butter will give the nutty flavor to this dish. Make sure you do not walk away as you can burn the butter easily.
Once our butter is browned, we want to add the lemon juice. Please be careful while doing this as the oil will splatter all over the place.
At this point, we take the pan off heat and add capers and chopped parsley to the sauce.
Once the sauce is ready, we can pour them on the fish and voilà. Very simple and full of flavor.
- 1-2 fillets of sole fish skin removed
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ lemon juice
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp capers
- Dredge our fillet with flour/salt/pepper mixture. Pat and shake well.
- Pan fry on medium heat for 1-2 minutes per side depending on the thickness. For thicker fish, go 3-4 minutes per side.
- On the same pan on medium heat, add butter and melt them until they are slightly browned.
- Add lemon juice
- Turn off heat and add parsley and capers. Mix well.
- Pour our sauce mixture to fish and serve immediately.