Fried Lemon Sole has delicate but quite firm sweet white flesh and really shines when cooked simply. We have tips here to fry and serve with lemon butter for a good looking but easy to prepare meal.

Why Is This fish Called “Lemon Sole”

Lemon Sole (Microstomus kitt) is a flatfish but in fact part of the flounder family. There are several schools of thought as to the true origins of this name.  Lemon sole is definitely a misnomer since this fish is not part of the sole family and it does not taste of lemon!

The name “sole” was given to this shape of fish in Roman times and is thought to come from the fish being the same shape as a sandal,  solea being the Latin word for sandal (A Dover sole’s scientific name is Solea solea).

The “Lemon” portion of the name  may well comes from a corruption of the French “limande” or “sole limande”. This term “limande” is thought to come from the French word “lime” which means “file”  as a reference to the rough abrasive texture of the fish’s skin. Historically different types of fish skins have been used in the same way as sandpaper is today.

Alternatively other believe that Lemon sole is named because its shape being quite similar to that of a lemon also it has a lighter yellowy golden colour compared to a Dover sole.

Cooking Tips For Fried Lemon Sole

You will find whole Lemon Sole on our counter, select the size according to your appetite. Allow one fillet per person – We can take it off the bone for you in the shop – just ask.

  • Unwrap your fillets at home and pat dry – this helps get a good golden brown finish.
  • Melt a generous tablespoonful of butter in your frying pan and bring up to a medium heat – avoid burning the butter.
  • Season the fillets well with some chunky sea salt
  • Dredge them in plain flour to get a light dusting all over
  • Place skin side down in the pan. Agitate the pan regularly to make sure nothing is sticking.
  • After two minutes check to see that the under surface is browned and turn over carefully with a spatula or slice. Repeat for the other side. Do not over-cook as the fish will continue cooking as it rests and you are making the sauce. Place the fillets onto warmed plates.
  • For the lemon butter add a further large spoonful of butter into the pan (If you have a significant amount of burnt flour/butter/fish do this in a clean pan as anything black will give a bitter taste). Once melted squeeze in the juice of a half lemon and salt, swirl with a spoon to combine the flavours then spoon the golden yellow sauce over the fried lemon sole and serve right away.