Sole meunière is a classic French dish consisting of sole, usually filleted, that is dredged in milk and flour, fried in butter and served with the resulting brown butter sauce and lemon. Sole has a light but moist texture when cooked and has a mild flavour. The French word “meunière” means “miller’s wife” and refers to the way the fish is dredged in flour before cooking, i.e. in the manner of a miller’s wife.
This was Julia Child’s first lunch when she arrived in France, and it changed her world. As she recounted in her memoir My Life in France, it was “perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley… I closed my eyes and inhaled the rising perfume. Then I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth… The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter… It was a morsel of perfection… It was the most exciting meal of my life.” The meal proved to be life-changing, sparking her culinary curiosity and a desire to learn French cooking. Read my post American Food Icon: Julie Child for more info on Julia Child.
± 400 g skinless sole fillets
125 ml milk
80 ml cake flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
15 ml olive oil
15 g butter
15 ml parsley, finely chopped
Lemon Butter Sauce
50 g butter
15 ml lemon juice
- Rinse the fish fillets and pat dry.
- Put the milk into a shallow dish about the same size as a fish fillet.
- Put the flour in another shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the butter.
- Dip a fish fillet into the milk, then into the flour, turning to coat well, the shake off the excess.
- Put the coated fillets into the pan in a single layer.
- Fry the fish gently for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned, turning once.
- Transfer the fish to a warmed serving platter.
- Wipe the frying pan clean with absorbent kitchen towel and return the pan to the heat.
- Add the butter and stir until the butter is melted. Add the lemon juice, remove the pan from the heat, and pour the lemon butter sauce over the hot fish fillets.
- Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with lemon wedges.