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Sankey's Dover Sole


Sankey's Dover Sole

A question I face almost every week is “what’s your favourite fish”.  It’s not a question that’s easily answered either; the waters around the British Isles are choker block with some amazing species of fish.  However if you really push me I suppose you cant really get better than a Dover Sole.  Its firm white meat that so easily pulls away from the bones, if cooked properly, is a real treat.

Dover Soles are in high demand and their prices can reflect this.  In our restaurants we sell these for around the late £20’s and in London I have seen examples go for towards £40 a pop.  It’s a real treat I guess.  So if you want to do it justice at home your going have to give it a little bit of TLC, but fear not its not actually all that hard.

*Warning, fish pun alert!

I’ve become a “dab” hand at Dover Soles, Mrs Sankey loves them and because they are pretty simple to knock up I’m all over it when the request comes in for dinner.  Here is my bullet proof recipe for a Dover Sole with a simple brown shrimp butter dressing.

Ingredients for two

  • 2x 12/14oz Dover Soles, skinned both sides – £11.50 each
  • 100g Peeled Brown Shrimp – £6.50
  • A knob of  salted butter, about 50g
  • A drop of nice olive oil
  • 2x garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1x banana shallot, diced
  • Black Pepper, ground
  • Heaped teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 175ml white wine, might as well be a nice one


  1. Turn the oven on to a nice 180c and grab yourself a baking tray, one large enough for the two fish and place on the hob to heat up.  We just want to melt the half of butter and get everything started. Once the butter has started to melt, add the drop of olive oil.  Once the oil and butter mix is bubbling away grab your fish by the tail and “seal” the top side of the fish.  Once sealed, this takes 20/30 seconds, place the fish on to the baking tray and add the white wine, you wont need it all so help yourself to the remainder of the glass.  Add the garlic and half the shallots to the wine and butter liquor and pop it in the oven for 15 minutes.
  2. Whilst the soles are in the oven, pop a small saucepan in the hob and melt the remainder of the butter and sweat the remainder of the shallots.  We don’t want to colour this to much, but a light brown is the goal.  Then add the nutmeg and the brown shrimps.  The shrimps are already cooked, so we just want to heat them up and infuse the nutmeg. Pop this to the side and check on your Dovers.
  3. What we are looking for is for the meat to peel away from the bones without much effort. Just pop a knife behind the head and along the spine and try to life one of the fillets. If it pulls away you are good to go.
  4. Carefully lift the sole on to warm plate with whatever else you have decided to serve with it.  I usually do something simple like wilted spinach or new potatoes as the sole is fairly rich and doesn’t need much help.
  5. Then spoon over some of the brown shrimp and nutmeg butter over the fish.

Download the Recipe: Dover Sole

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