Normandy-Style Sole

Credit: Didier Loire
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Ingredients (4 people)




  • 4 red-clawed crayfish
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1 1/4 ounce crayfish butter (50 g)
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil (2 cl)
  • 1 dried fennel sprig
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns (2 g)


  • 4 oysters (preferably Marennes d'Oléron)


  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 1/4 ounce clarified butter (50 g)

Small Fish Fillets

  • 1 pound fresh white breadcrumbs (500 g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/2 ounces flour (100 g)
  • 2 quarts grapeseed oil (2 l)
  • fleur de sel

Sauce Base

Sauce Normande

  • 9 ounces butter (250 g)
  • 1 pound cream, reduced by half (500 g)
  • 7 ounces oysters (preferably Marennes d'Oléron) (200 g)
  • 1 lemon)


Step 1: Sole

Scale, dress, and clean the sole. Remove the white and gray skins, then delicately peel away the nervous membrane on the outer part of the fillets wit a thin-bladed knife. Cut off the head, and trim the sole to obtain nice, even sections. Set the tails aside and reserve the trimmings for the sauce.

Season the sole sections with fleur de sel, and quickly roast on either side in frothy butter in a sauté pan.

Add the button mushrooms and the sliced shallots, sweat, then deglaze with white wine. Add 14 ounces (400 g) of the sauce base (prepared below), and bake covered.

When cooked, rest the sole in a lukewarm place.

Step 2: Mussels

Scrape the mussels, wash a few times and drain.

Peel the shallots, slice and sweat in butter in a small pot. Add the crushed garlic clove, the white wine, the parsley, and the dried fennel, then cook, covered, over a moderate heat until the mussels open.

Drain, making sure to save the cooking juice. Cool quickly, and remove the mussels from their shells. Trim the beards, and set the cleaned mussels aside.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

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