Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Dover sole with lime and ginger

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 2
From The Incredible Spice Men
Any sweet, meaty white fish, such as hake, cod and John Dory would make a good alternative to Dover sole, or you could try sea bass or bream fillets if you want a lighter option. If you’re using bass or bream you can skip the oven stage, and simply fry them in the pan: start them off skin-side down, then cook for a few minutes on the flesh side.


  1. To prepare the fish, heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Mix together the flour, chilli powder and some salt and pepper, and dust the fish in it, then shake off any excess. Heat a large, non-stick, ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat; use two frying pans if the fish are too large to fit in a single pan. (If you have no ovenproof pans, then preheat a lightly oiled baking tray.)

  2. Add the oil and heat it until it hazes. Add the sole (skin-side down if you’ve part-skinned them) and fry, without moving them, for 3-4 minutes, or until they form a golden-brown crust. Turn over and transfer the frying pan to the top of the hot oven (or transfer the fish to the warmed baking tray and place in the oven), and cook for a further 8–10 minutes, or until cooked through and the flesh is opaque.

  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, drop in the asparagus and simmer for three minutes, or until just tender. Remove from the water, drain and set aside.

  4. For the sauce, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes, or until it turns a nut-brown colour. Reduce the heat to low, add the ginger, lime juice, pomegranate seeds and chopped coriander and warm it through; don’t overheat it or it will separate. Season to taste. Serve the sole with the asparagus and spoon the sauce over the top.


  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • ½-1 tsp chilli powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Dover sole, scaled, cleaned and trimmed (dark skin removed if you can, otherwise you could slash it in several places with a sharp knife), or other fish of your choice
  • 1–2 tbsp vegetable or rapeseed oil
  • 12 asparagus spears

For the sauce

  • 140g/5oz unsalted butter
  • 50g/2oz chopped fresh root ginger
  • 4 tbsp lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • 30g/1¼oz fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

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