Sole of Discretion
Lemon sole is a misnomer since it’s neither a real sole, nor does it taste of lemon. It’s actually a flounder (the family that includes plaice and turbot). It has delicate, sweet white flesh and is best cooked simply, either grilled or fried, or served with a light sauce.
Lemons are small flat fish with a tiny head and mouth that live on stony and gravelly seabeds, from depths of 20m to 200m. They feed on worms, shrimps and other small animals. They can grow to a maximum size of 60cm, maturing at 4-5 years, and have an impressive live span of up to 17 years. Minimum landing size for this species in Devon and Cornwall is 25cm.
Little is known about lemon sole stocks and there are no restrictions on the amount of lemon sole being caught in our area so it is at risk of over fishing. Net caught lemon sole is more sustainable than trawl caught, and is why we work with fishers using static trammel and gill nets. Our fishers generally catch the larger sized lemons as it tends not to be their target fishery, rather they are trying to catch larger turbot, where the mesh size is bigger.
Preheat the grill to medium-hot and place the lemon sole onto a baking tray and season with salt and pepper, and drizzle over a small amount of good vegetable oil. Place the fish under the grill and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until the flesh comes away from the bone.
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