Dover Sole with Crayfish Tails

I’m trying to eat more fish, partly because it’s good for you, partly because I’m trying to lose weight but mostly because it’s delicious. I’m not sure this one qualifies for the dieting category as it contains loads of butter, but it tastes light, which is good enough for me (and probably explains why my diets always fail). Don’t let that put you off though.

It is a version of the French classic, sole meunière. The fish is the star here but it doesn’t have to be Dover sole: lemon sole and other flatfish are also good cooked this way. And if you can source tiny peeled brown shrimps, native to the UK, by all means substitute them for the crayfish tails.

Dover Sole with Crayfish Tails

Image of Dover sole with crayfish tails

2 Dover sole, skinned but on the bone

Plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

100g clarified butter

125g cooked, peeled crayfish tails

About 1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp chopped parsley

Lemon wedges, to serve


To clarify butter, put it in a pan on a low heat and once it’s melted, carefully pour the clear liquid on the top into a container, leaving the milky solids behind. It’s worth the few minutes it takes to do this as clarified butter cooks at a higher heat without burning.

Dust the sole on both sides with seasoned flour. Heat 50g of the butter in a large frying pan on a medium heat until it’s foaming gently. Put in the sole and cook on a medium heat until the first side is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. You should see the edges turning white.

Turn it over, using two spatulas if necessary, and brown the other side, 1-2 minutes, until just opaque in the middle. Remove to a heated plate and keep warm.

Image of sole cooking

Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining butter over a medium heat until it’s foaming and beginning to brown. Add the crayfish tails and warm through.

Image of crayfish cooking

Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon juice (it might spit a bit). Pour the contents of the pan over the sole and garnish with lemon wedges.

Try it with a side of wilted spinach or French beans and maybe some buttered new potatoes. Simplicity is the key, which makes it perfect for a fast but elegant supper.

Image of Dover sole with crayfish tails

4 thoughts on “Dover Sole with Crayfish Tails

  1. Ooh, I wonder where you can source brown shrimps? A pint of those was Saturday tea for the family throughout my childhood (though we had to peel our own, which was part of the fun). I haven’t seen them in years and years.

      • Yes, but you live near the coast. I think that’s the problem for us land-lubbers. I really haven’t seen them in even high-end fishmongers – I’m lucky enough to have reasonable access to two, but no dice.

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