Poached Dover Soles

The inclusion of a pinch of ginger brings out the flavour of the sauce and the fish. It was frequently used in fish dishes until the seventeenth century.

If preferred, the thickened sauce can be omitted and the soles served with a little of the liquor in which they cooked.


  • 1 sole, about lb (½ kg) or 2 smaller ones
  • cup (1.5 dl) dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tiny pinch of mace
  • Tiny pinch of ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (15 g) flour
  • ¼ cup (60 g) cream
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley and tarragon, optional


Ask the fishmonger for the skin and any trimmings from the soles and boil them for 10 minutes in cup (1.5 dl) of water. Strain the liquid into the wine and add a little salt and pepper and the mace and ginger. Lay the sole in a large, fireproof dish (2 soles should be placed side by side). Pour the liquid over them, cover closely and put in the oven at 350°F (180°C, Gas Mark 4) for 20 minutes.

Remove the fish from the oven and keep warm on a flat dish. Reserve the cooking liquid. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour, cook for 1 minute, stirring, and then pour in the reserved cooking liquid. Stir while it boils for 1 minute and then mix in the cream.

Pour the sauce over the fish, sprinkle with the parsley and tarragon, if liked, and serve at once.