How to Cook a Lemon Sole Fillet

by Susan Paretts
Make a sauce for your lemon sole or serve it directly from the pan.

Make a sauce for your lemon sole or serve it directly from the pan.

Lemon sole (Microstomus kitt) is a type of flatfish found in the seas of northern Europe that has a sweet, delicate flavor and texture. This fish contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids and you can cook it quickly and easily by pan-frying it, dusted in flour, for a simplified sole meuniere. For a flavorful, healthy dinner, prepare your lemon sole fillets with fresh lemon juice, herbs and seasonings, and serve it with pasta, rice or vegetables.

Use tweezers to remove any bones from your lemon sole fillets before rinsing them. Pat them dry with paper towels and put them on a plate.

Sprinkle salt, pepper and any other seasonings you like on your lemon sole fillets to give them some flavor.

Place a thin layer of flour on a plate. This will coat your fish for pan frying, preventing the meat of this fragile fish from falling apart when cooking. You can use whole wheat flour if desired for a healthier option that is rich in fiber.

Dredge your seasoned lemon sole fillets through the flour on both sides; add more flour if necessary. Shake off the excess flour and put the fillets aside.

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add fragrant vegetables and herbs like parsley, chives, peeled garlic or onions to the oil to give the fish some flavor when pan-frying it.

Place the flour-dusted lemon sole fillets in the pan with the olive oil and vegetables. Squeeze half of a fresh lemon over the fillets to add some zing to your fish and tenderize it as well.

Cook the fillets for about two minutes on each side or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit when tested with a meat thermometer. The fish should appear golden and flake when prodded with a fork.

Add a little more olive oil and the juice of the other half of your lemon to the skillet. Cook over medium heat along with some capers to create a sauce for your fish. If desired, slice up another lemon and cook the slices in the olive oil for a few minutes, just until golden on both sides.

Pour the sauce over the fish and place a few cooked lemon slices over each fillet for added flavor.

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Items you will need

  • Tweezers
  • Paper towels
  • Lemon sole fillets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Seasonings (optional)
  • Plate
  • Flour
  • Olive oil
  • Skillet
  • Herbs, onion or garlic (optional)
  • Lemons
  • Capers (optional)


  • While a traditional meuniere calls for butter, using olive oil can help cut down on the calories and unhealthy fats in your finished dish.
  • If you don't like lemons, substitute tomatoes or oranges instead; they will also tenderize your fish and add flavor to it.
  • Instead of flour, you can also coat your lemon sole in breadcrumbs for more of a crunchy texture.
  • Winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus), also a type of flatfish, is sometimes referred to as lemon sole and you can cook it in the same way.


  • Undercooked fish may contain harmful microorganisms, which is why you must cook it to an internal temperature of at least 145 F.
  • Avoid lemon sole treated with a brine of tripolyphosphates, which can negatively affect its texture.

About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

Photo Credits

  • Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images