Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Fish with lemon and brown butter sauce

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 2
From The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo
I use lemon sole for my poisson meunière, but why not try Pacific halibut or even trout? The lemon and brown butter sauce makes a delicious accompaniment to the delicate fish flavours.


  1. Check the fish for small bones and use tweezers to pull out any that you find.

  2. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper and spread out over a large plate. Pat the fish fillets in the flour so they are evenly coated, and shake off any excess.

  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. When the oil is smoking hot, place the fish fillets in the pan and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 1-2 minutes on one side until golden-brown, then turn the fillets over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the second side is golden-brown. (Flatfish fillets need only 1-2 minutes cooking on each side. If you’re cooking thicker slices or fillets from a fish like trout (2-3cm/1in thick), then 3-4 minutes on each side should be fine.)

  4. When cooked remove the fish from the pan and wrap the fish in aluminium foil to keep warm.

  5. Wipe the pan with paper towels and return to a medium heat. Add the cubes of butter and heat until they melt and become light brown, then turn off the heat and add the lemon juice (stand back a little as it will splutter).

  6. Add the parsley and capers (if using), and swirl the contents of the pan around. Return the fish to the pan, spoon over the juices and serve immediately.


  • 2 fillets of lemon sole (about 150g/5oz each), skin removed
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 pinches freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ tbsp sunflower oil
  • 45g/1½oz butter, cut into cubes
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 1 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp small capers (optional)

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