Sole colbert recipe

(63 ratings)

Fancy cooking a bit of fish? Why not try something a little different than the usual cod and chips? This sole colbert was first featured in Woman's Weekly in 1951

Sole colbert
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories532 Kcal27%
Fat33 g47%
Saturated Fat14 g70%

Light and delicate sole fillets, coated in fresh breadcrumbs and fried with a buttery sauce to melt all over it.

Sole colbert is a French way of cooking Dover sole with a parsley butter - a little bit like a fish version of chicken kiev. And, just like chicken kievs, it was popular in the 1970s. So it's due a revival with a bit of a fresh update. This recipe is adapted from one that appeared in Women's Weekly, where it first featured in 1951. It's pretty simple to do, but it looks impressive, so it makes a nice main course for a special dinner. Or you can simply multiply the ingredients if you're making it for a dinner party. Serve with steamed new potatoes and French beans.


  • 1 rounded tsp flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 60g (2oz) day-old white breadcrumbs
  • 2 lemon sole fillets, skinned if you prefer, and trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the parsley butter:

  • About 45g (1½ oz) butter
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley




  1. To make the parsley butter: Soften the butter in a bowl. Grate in the zest from half the lemon (keep other half for garnish). Add the parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix well, then form the butter into a roll in paper or foil, and chill until firm.
  2. Mix flour with seasoning and milk in a shallow bowl to make a batter. Put crumbs on a large sheet of paper or baking tray. Dip each piece of fish in the batter, then in the breadcrumbs to coat them all over.
  3. Heat half of the oil in a frying and fry the fish, skin- side up, for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Flip over and cook for a minute.
  4. Put the fish on 2 hot plates, adding a couple of slices of parsley butter per portion. Serve with lemon wedges.

Top tip for making sole colbert

To further mimic the kiev effect , you can add half of the butter to the middle of the fish before you cover it in batter. Make a cut into the fish to form a small pocket. Spread a little parsley butter inside, then close it up and batter and crumb the fish as before. The butter will melt as you cook the fish, and flavour it even more.

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Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.