Sautéed Petrale Sole in Herb Butter Sauce

Raised Catholic, I grew up eating fish every Friday (not just during Lent as the custom goes these days). Often it was just a simple tuna macaroni salad, but we kids were exposed to a variety of fish and seafood on a regular basis. Thank goodness! We still eat fish almost every Friday (old habits die hard) and are always looking for new ideas to cook with the fresh fish we find at the market. Here is a recipe for petrale sole (a Pacific flounder) that is served with a quick sauce made with shallots, white wine, and butter. You could use this sauce over any mild fish fillet. This recipe we adapted from a recipe in a newsletter from a favorite local bistro, Paul Martin’s which focuses on using organic, local ingredients.

Do you have a preferred way of preparing sole fillets? Or other Lenten dishes? If so, please let us know about it in the comments.

Sautéed Petrale Sole in Herb Butter Sauce Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh petrale sole fillets
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp minced shallots
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp, cut into 4 pieces, cold, unsalted butter
  • Fresh thyme leaves (or any fresh herb for flavor)
  • Minced fresh chives
  • Lemon wedges (use Meyer lemons if available)


1 Pat the sole fillets dry with paper towels. There is a lot of moisture in petrale sole, so you might have to pat them dry twice. Lightly salt the fillets on both sides.

2 Heat oil in a large, stick-free skillet on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the fillets to the pan. Brown the fillets gently on both sides. Fish is cooked when it flakes easily and is no longer translucent. Sole fillets will cook up very quickly, no more than a few minutes on each side, so don't walk away from the pan while cooking. Once done, remove the fillets from pan and place on a warm plate.

3 Add shallots to the pan and sauté until soft. Deglaze the pan with white wine and scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add butter and gently swirl to make a sauce. Add herbs, and squeeze a little lemon juice into the sauce. Spoon over the sole.

Serve immediately.

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Adapted from a recipe in a newsletter from Paul Martin's Bistro.

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Showing 4 of 23 Comments

  • Teresa

    If you like them, put a couple tablespoons of drained capers into the pan sauce when deglazing the pan they add a nice tart flavor.

  • Katie

    Ok.. I will try and make this short… but my favourite way to make fish… I usually use red snapper or yellow tail.. it is what we most often get fresh from the fishermen!

    Get a large frying pan, wok size.. flat bottom.

    Layer the following ingredients:

    1. Fennel (Sliced)
    2. Onions I like to use vidalia when they are in season
    3. Sprinkle slices of fresh ginger and garlic on top.
    4. Add a lot of fresh baby spinach washed and dried.
    Then add your fish. I layer the number of flillets one or one half per person depending on the size.
    5. Season with salt and pepper.
    6. Sprinkle on top.. Fish Sauce, Chili Oil, Ginger flavoured soy sauce… all to taste. don’t be stingy as they will mix with the liquid from the fish and spinach to make the most amazing sauce.

    Put lid on pan cook, steaming until fish is cooked through and spinach is wilted. Med to low heat!

    I serve this with Jasmine rice seasoned with cilantro.

    I have never measured this, I make loads of alterations depending on what is fresh and what I have to hand! It is always fantastic!

    If it is lent.. this, mac n cheese or tuna casserole! (with potato chips on top of course!)

    That recipe sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing. ~Elise

  • Trish in MO

    I live in a rural area, and doubtful to find petrale sole. What are a couple of substitutes, please? Also, is this a ‘bony’ fish? I adore fish and would have it several times a week, if I could convince my family of the same. BUT, one of the toughest hurdles is the bones issue.

    Also, what is a Meyer lemon?


    Cod, or even trout, would be a good substitute. This fish isn’t particularly bony. A Meyer lemon is a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange. It has a thinner peel and is sweeter than a regular lemon, though still tart overall. ~Elise

  • Catalyst

    It’s not filet of sole but here’s a simple and tasty one for catfish filets. My wife seasons them with Zatarain’s seafood seasoning, a light dredge in flour and sautes them in butter.

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