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Pan Fried Lemon Sole Meuniere on the Bone

Pan-fried lemon sole meuniere cooked on the bone and finished with a butter, lemon, caper and parsley sauce, classic simplicity at its best.

Cooking this dish takes about 15 minutes and even if you have to clean the fish you can have this delicious meal on your table in 30 minutes. I also have a video showing you how to clean the sole!

Whole pan-fried lemon sole meuniere served with new potatoes and green beans.

Classic Sole Meuniere Cooked on the Bone

I have always adored cooking with fish and being starved of sea fish for my 13 years living in landlocked Central Europe has only strengthened that love.

I have dishes as diverse as whole baked mackerel with potatoes and Jamaican influenced Escovitch fish to pan-fried skate wings and Thai Choo Chee curry that all feature fish cooked on the bone.

This French pan-fried lemon sole meuniere takes that approach too. Cooking fish on the bone is a wonderful way of making sure that the fish stays moist and holds together.

Being served a whole fish also always feels special… to me anyway!

It is also a lot easier than many people think! I have created a video that shows the preparation of the fish which is just below the recipe. It does not take a great deal of skill, just a little patience.

Cooking the dish could not be quicker or simpler, dredge the fish in flour. Then shallow fry it on one side, flip it, add a load of butter and baste, it is done in less than 10 minutes.

I use an almost identical technique in my pan-fried brill recipe, which you must check out!

The sauce just needs some lemon juice, capers and parsley. It’s even easier than my other classic French fish dish, cod mornay!

Overhead whole pan-fried lemon sole meuniere with a caper and butter sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Dover sole?

Yes absolutely, the preparation is the same too so you can follow my video (in the recipe) to do this.

It is of course much more pricey, but you are worth it!

Can I use different types of fish?

Yes, with a little alteration in timing, you could do this with everything from sea bass to trout and skate wings to plaice.

Can I use sole fillets rather than cooking them on the bone?

Yes, but the cooking time is greatly reduced, you only want to cook the fish for a couple of minutes on each side.

Why do you only remove the skin on the top of the fish?

The white skin on the bottom of the fish is much softer and is lovely to eat, so I leave it in place.

Is it ok to use caper berries?

Yes, they are larger but roughly chop them and throw them in, they are lovely!

Can I prepare this in advance?

Not really because reheating the fish will dry it out far too much in my opinion.

Whole lemon sole meuniere showing the texture of the cooked flesh.

Serving Suggestions

I have served my lemon sole meuniere with some buttered parsley potatoes and green beans in these photographs, but it is wonderful with a host of simple side dishes!

I have a thing for potatoes (you’d never guess from my sites name), and this is great served with crispy salty potatoes too. Parmentier potatoes or crispy straw potatoes work really well!

If you wanted to go for mash you could add some buttery mashed potatoes, although I would probably opt for celeriac mash.

Other options for greens include buttered cabbage or some roasted tenderstem broccoli, which I love to eat!

If you wanted a salad then try and hunt down some samphire and knick up this wonderful samphire salad.

Whole pan-fried lemon sole with a caper and butter sauce.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 30cm or 12″ frying pan, I like to use a nonstick pan.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Fish slice or spatulas.
  • Spoons for basting the fish.
  • Scissors.
  • Large kitchen knife.
  • Boning knife, if you have not got one of these use a small sharp paring knife.
  • Chopping board.
Pan fried whole lemon sole meuniere with parsley potatoes and green beans.
Yield: 2 Servings

Pan Fried Lemon Sole Recipe Meuniere Style

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A whole pan-fried lemon sole serve "meuniere" style with a caper butter sauce and all cooked and prepared in under 30 minutes, including cleaning the fish!


  • 2 Whole Lemon Sole (around 500g each)
  • Plain Flour: Use enough to coat a plate but you only eat enough to lightly coat the fish.
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 75g (¼ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Butter
  • 1-2 Lemons
  • 50g (¼-⅓ Cup) Capers
  • 10g (½ Cup) Chopped Parsley


Preparing the Sole (See the video below):

  1. Begin by trimming the fins from the side of the fish using some scissors and then the tail.
  2. Make an incision down to the bone behind the head.
  3. Using a sharp knife tease the grey skin on top of the fish away from the flesh, take your time with this.
  4. Grab the flap of skin that you have created with a tea towel and pull, the skin should come off in one go.
  5. Remove the head with a kitchen knife.
  6. Trim up the belly of the fish, this will feel soft and flabby, use scissors for this.

Cooking Whole Sole Meuniere:

  1. Add the flour to a plate and then season with the salt.
  2. Dredge each fish in the flour tapping away any excess flour.
  3. Heat a 30-32cm (12-13") frying pan over a medium to medium-high heat and add the olive oil when the pan is hot.
  4. Add the sole, cooking the side that we removed the skin from first and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Flip the fish and add the butter, cook the fish for another 3-4 minutes basting with the foaming butter constantly.
  6. Remove the fish and place it on a warmed plate, then return the pan to a low heat.
  7. Squeeze in the lemon juice, this should foam immediately.
  8. Add the capers and chopped parsley and stir to combine, have a taste and add more salt if required.
  9. Serve the sauce napped over the fish and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 704Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 294mgSodium: 3378mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 60g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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