Grilled Megrim Sole with Caper Parsley Butter

I was having my usual scope of the fish counter this week slowly ticking off the things I cannot have because they are not sustainable, beginning to think I probably shouldn’t have anything and am almost certain to turn vegetarian before long. But there in the centre of the counter was something new  labelled Megrim Sole and from Cornwall .

I had a quick Google on my phone,  thankfully the few articles I could find suggested they fell into the sustainable bracket and tasted good. They were also really cheap these two large fish cost just a pound each.

I did a bit more research at home , I hadn’t realised just how many different types of sole there were, while Dover sole are becoming rare ,  both lemon and megrim sole are still rated as sustainable. In fact in an effort to direct us away from threatened species,  there is some rebranding going on.  Remember when pollack assumed it’s French name colin, the larks. This time they haven’t taken the French option which would have been cardine or the Spanish gallos, none of the fun local names sail fluke or whiff. I quite like the idea of eating a bit of whiff   but instead they are often labelled  Cornish Sole

I borrowed the bones of a  recipe  from the Marine Stewardship Council  who had in turn  borrowed it from Tom Aikens . He presented this recipe  during the launch of  eco-venture Toms Place, the upmarket fish and chip shop where cod and plaice were replaced with sustainable fish including megrim sole,   pollack ,ling , gurnard ,dab , mackerel , sprats and wolf fish . Despite some good reviews  it closed in less than a year following complaints by Chelsea residents about the frying odour.

 I was excited and nervous as I have never cooked a flat fish before.  But preparing this  sole is quite easy , just a case of pulling the skin off the topside of the fish, though not as easy as this You Tube video makes it look . The skin one mine did not come off in one piece and in a few places pulled some flesh away. Despite some advice to the contrary I also removed the head as I was finding the eyes particular disturbing .

 As with most fish cooking I went with simplicity . A lot of recipes suggested filleting but I would definitely need more practice so instead a cooked them whole

This would be a very good fish for anyone who has a problem with bones,   the central spine stays intact and there were no small bones just delicious firm white flesh,  lovely with the citrus-salt butter. To serve just some steamed romanesco caulflower ( Dig those Fractals) and leeks dressed with a lttle butter and parsley

Grilling the Megrim Sole 

Allow one per person
Once skinned I rubbed the flesh with a little rape seed oil,  salt and pepper and popped under a very hot grill for a few minutes until golden brown.

Caper Parsley Butter

1 clove of garlic finely sliced
2 tbsp of capers
3 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of parsley finely chopped
Juice of a lemon

  1. Fry the capers and garlic for a few minutes in half the butter
  2. Add the rest of the butter and cook until foaming
  3. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper

Cauliflower RisottoTail of a Trout by you.


  1. I too am forever on the hunt for ‘sustainable’ fish and yesterday at my fishmongers they recommended the Megrim Sole. I have never heard of it before, Despite living in Cornwall for a while! Apparently this seasons best so we shall see how it fares for tonight’s supper. Thanks for the tips 🙂

  2. Discovered our local Sainsburys had started stocking megrim sole a few weeks ago (well it is in East Dulwich…). Selling at 72p per 100 gms! Amazing value. Had it a couple of times now and your caper parsley butter is seriously good. IMO, there’s really no need to remove the skin. Worked will with potatoes fresh out of the ground, and runner beans mixed with peas

  3. Never heard of this fish before yesterday. I breadcrumbed it(flour and egg wash first) then pan fryed it in Rapeseed oil for a couple of minutes either side. It was in my opinion better than Lemon Sole.

  4. the majority of Megrim sole sold in the UK are beam caught which is *not* good for the environment regardless of the short term sustainability.

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