Imperfectly Delicious “Sole Meunière”

Sometimes it’s worth posting a recipe that did not turn out perfectly in appearance for reason such as: a) I have no idea when I’ll make it again b) my muddling along in the recipe can only serve to make you look good c) it still tastes really good, and if you don’t know what you’re missing out on, here’s your chance to learn!

Preparing something “meunière” means that you’re using flour, since meunier means “miller.” It’s pronounced muh-nyay (meunier) and muh-nyair (meunière). This totally reminds me of the nursery rhyme my mother-in-law used to sing to Juliet when we first arrived in France.

“Meunier, tu dors. Ton moulin va trop vîte. Meunier, tu dors. Ton moulin va trop fort.”

which translates to “Miller, you’re sleeping! Your mill is going too fast! Miller, you’re sleeping. Your mill is going too strong.”

It’s cute. You can listen to it here:

Aaaaanyway. You might possibly have heard of sole meunière, using sole as the fish type for this recipe. Or you might have heard of poisson meunière – another type of fish prepared in the meunière style. I did not use sole, I used cod. Not only did I use cod, but I bypassed the cod filets and went for the bigger, meatier version because it looked tempting when I was at the fishmonger. If you use sole or another type of filet, your fish will turn over neatly, preserving its beauty.

And we all know cooking and eating well is about taste and beauty.

So. Now that you know to do as I say and not as I do, let’s get started.

Brown some butter. I used about 2-3 tablespoons.

Poisson Meunière1

You want to remove it from the pan before it gets too brown because it will continue to brown off the flame and you don’t want to burn it.

Poisson Meunière2

Slice one lemon (this will be used as decoration to place over the fish), and juice one small lemon. I used 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and I found it perfect.

Poisson Meunière3

Salt and pepper your fish generously. I recently discovered that pepper is actually a spice that flavours the food, as opposed to something that makes it spicy hot. It was quite a revelation.

Poisson Meunière4

Put a quarter-cup of flour on a plate and cover the fish generously with flour.

Poisson Meunière5

Heat a mix of 2 T olive oil and a tablespoon of butter, and fry the fish. (Here is where having thinner filets will make your dish turn out more beautifully). If you want to see a perfectly prepared poisson meunière, take a look at Rachel Khoo’s version, which includes capers and parsley.

Poisson Meunière6

When the fish is browned on both sides, and cooked thoroughly through, serve with boiled, new potatoes, and cover everything with the brown butter sauce, mixed with the lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Poisson Meunière7

Imperfect, maybe.

Poisson Meunière8But it’s perfectly delicious.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Poisson Meunière
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
lemon-butter-style floured fish
Recipe type: Fish
Cuisine: French
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb fish filets
  • 4T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • ¼ c flour
  • salt and pepper
  1. Brown 3T butter and juice a lemon.
  2. Season and flour the fish.
  3. Fry the fish in olive oil and the remaining butter.
  4. Serve with potatoes, and cover with the browned butter and lemon sauce.


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I am the daughter of a symphony musician who was raised in upstate New York, and I simply breathe all things classical, be it music or 19th century literature (English and Russian). I married Sir Renaissance in New York City, and before I knew it, he had swept me up and brought me back home to his own country. So here we are. Three children, a rather ordinary life in a rather exceptional place. I am now ‘A Lady in France.’

Posted in Food, Meat & Fish
10 comments on “Imperfectly Delicious “Sole Meunière”
  1. I think it looks delicious! I love lightly battered, pan-fried fish.
    I have never attempted to make a brown butter sauce – I have a bed habit of burning butter even when I am cooking with it in the pan.
    Kim@Co-Pilot Mom recently posted…It’s a Trap! (A Nine-Year-Old’s Guide to Avoiding Bedtime)My Profile

  2. Alison says:

    My last lunch in France was sole meuniere and it was delicious!! In fact, it was the best meal we had there (not including your meal of course).

    Can I come back to yours for some fish? Pretty please.
    Alison recently posted…A Different Kind Of Sweet SpotMy Profile

  3. Laura says:

    I was just thinking how I haven’t had fish in a while! Can I come for dinner?
    Laura recently posted…#ShareSomeLove and Decorate for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  4. Galit Breen says:

    This does sound yummy — and simple enough (for me!) to make! Yum!
    Galit Breen recently posted…Tow the LineMy Profile

  5. I didn’t even know one can brown butter. Clearly I better stay out of the kitchen (and come try yours 😉 )
    Kerstin @ Auer Life recently posted…The Fucket ListMy Profile

  6. Jennifer says:

    It looks pretty freaking delicious to me.
    Jennifer recently posted…Out of Chaos, Comes OrderMy Profile

  7. Throw in a Beurre Blanc (white butter)Sauce and I’m in heaven!
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently posted…“You should write about it” she said.My Profile

  8. Lush, Delish.
    Love the green platter. Xx
    My Inner Chick recently posted…Meeting My Favorite Author Thru BloggingMy Profile

  9. You have a fishmonger you visit?


    julie gardner recently posted…The Space BetweenMy Profile

  10. Andrea says:

    I want that. It looks delicious!
    Andrea recently posted…Old School Blogging: Valentine’s Day EditionMy Profile

I'm Jennie. Welcome to A Lady in France! I write books, and also this blog on faith, French culture and recipes ... ( To continue reading, please click here. )

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