Crayfish with Strips of Dover Sole and Creamy Saffron Sauce


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Feast of Fish

A Feast of Fish

By Ian McAndrew

Published 1989

  • About

This is another of my all-time favourites; not a new combination by any means, but a dish of such stunning colour and flavour – who could resist it? Dover sole is the best fish for this dish; there really is no substitute here.


  • 2 X 450 g/1 lb Dover sole
  • 32 live crayfish
  • 15 g/½ oz butter
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 15 g/½ oz shallots, chopped
  • 400 ml/14 fl oz fish stock
  • 120 ml/4 fl oz dry sherry
  • 300 ml/½ pint double cream
  • Good pinch of saffron


    Skin, fillet and trim the sole. Cut each fillet into 5 diagonal strips about 1 cm/½ inch wide.

    Remove the intestinal tract from the crayfish by pinching the middle section of the tail between your thumb and forefinger, then twist and pull.

    Heat the butter in a saucepan until it just starts to sizzle. Lightly season the strips of sole and gently but quickly fry them in the butter until the strips of sole turn white. Remove from the pan, cover and keep in a warm place. Add the shallots to the pan and cook for a few minutes until soft, then pour in 350 ml/12 fl oz of the fish stock and all of the sherry and bring to the boil over a high heat. When boiling, plunge in the crayfish, cover and boil for 3 minutes. Drain the crayfish from the stock and allow them to cool. Continue boiling the stock and reduce by three-quarters. While the stock is reducing, shell the crayfish and leave 8 with their heads still attached. Save the shells and the rest of the heads for another recipe. Pour the remaining fish stock over the crayfish meat to keep it moist and cover.

    When the stock has reduced sufficiently, pour in the cream and add the saffron. Return to the boil and reduce until it starts to thicken.