Seared Sole With Lime Sauce

This quick Thai-inspired sauce is a weeknight miracle for any flaky white fish. Chef Kuniko Yagi of L.A.’s Hinoki & the Bird prefers making the sauce with spicy Thai bird chiles; for less fire, you can remove the seeds or substitute serranos. Slideshow:  More Seafood RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners

Seared Sole With Lime Sauce
Photo: © Fredrika Stjärne
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins


  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar or packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

  • 6 fresh red Thai bird chiles, minced (seeded for less heat)

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • Four 7-ounce skinless sole fillets, preferably grey sole

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. In a small saucepan, stir the fish sauce and sugar over high heat until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro, chiles, garlic, lime juice and crushed red pepper.

  2. Heat a large skillet until hot. Season the sole with salt and black pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the bottom. Add 2 of the fillets and cook over high heat until lightly browned outside and just white throughout, 1 to 2 minutes per side; transfer to plates. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining olive oil and sole. Pour the lime sauce on the sole and serve.

Make Ahead

The lime sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Serve With

Steamed white rice and sautéed bok choy or Chinese mustard greens.

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