Sole Meunière

When first drafting my debut cookbook, The Ancestral Table, I was hesitant to add my recipe for Sole Meunière. After all, it contains only a few ingredients – fish, butter, and lemon, mostly – not exactly a huge culinary journey. But as time marched on, I’ve come to realize that this is one of my most treasured recipes from the book, in part because it’s so simple and satisfying. A couple weeks back, as we made it again for dinner, I decided to share my recipe on this blog.

Because flounder is easy to find here in the South, we’ve been using it instead of the traditional sole. Other flatfish, like plaice or turbot, will also work fine. Fun fact: flatfish have four fillets!

From the book:

Sole meunière is a classic French dish and an easy inclusion in this cookbook; Julia Child, best known for introducing gourmet French cuisine to the United States, had what she considered to be a “culinary revelation” when she first tasted this dish. It’s easy to see why, as the combination of mild white fish, browned butter, and lemon is basic but striking and never gets old.

Sole Meunière (Gluten-free, Perfect Health Diet, Paleo, Whole30)

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy

2 sole, plaice, turbot, or flounder filets, about six ounces each
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
3 tbsp tapioca starch or potato starch
2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
2 tbsp butter (ghee for Whole30)
1 lemon, cut into slices

1. Gently rinse and pat dry the filets with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish in tapioca starch on both sides, shaking off excess flour. Place on a plate and set aside.

2. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet on med/high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes, then add the butter and stir together. When the butter stops foaming (about 40 seconds), add the fish and pan-fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

3. Carefully flip the fish and cook until done, another 2-3 minutes, adding the lemon slices during the last 20 seconds of cooking. Pour the browned butter and lemon sauce over the filets when serving.

23 thoughts on “Sole Meunière

  1. I’m just getting started with Paleo (I think at least!) and so happy to have stumbled upon your website, it has such wonderful recipes and ideas. I don’t think this sole meuniere looks simple at all I think it looks quite stunning and gorgeous, definitely super delicious :) (Me too, I would sprinkle a bit of parsley on it and also lemon…and away I’d go to eat it all up!). Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. It is funny, I’ve made this for years without a recipe and chuckled to realize it was actually a ‘real recipe’ (must be that smattering of French blood). You are right; it’s very simple, but so delicious and so satisfying every time. No surprise Julia and others have found it a ‘revelation’!

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  3. I believe I have cooked this recipe before, although, admittedly, I did not know the proper name for it. That being said, it is indeed a lovely and delectable dish, and it is ironic how the simplest prepared dishes are also the most succulent.

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