Bottomfishing is in full swing across many Washington marine waterways, and those looking for ways to cook up their next catch should enjoy this recipe of the week.
Seattle chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas offers his take on how to cook up sole (aka flounder).
Douglas will contribute some of his tasty recipes for my blog, and each will be related to the “catch of the week.” It’ll appear regularly on Wednesdays through October, along with recipes from other local chefs, tackle shop owners and fish-market owners.
Douglas is owner of Lola, Palace Kitchen, Dahlia Lounge, Dahlia Bakery, Etta’s, Serious Pie Downtown, Seatown, Brave Horse Tavern, Cuoco, Serious Biscuit, Serious Pie Westlake and Ting Momo.
Steven’s Perfect Pan-Fried Alaskan Sole
From Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen
Note: to make the dried bread crumbs, toast 1/2-inch slices of European style rustic bread in a 325 degree oven until the bread is dried out, turning the pieces over occasionally, about 40 minutes. Allow the bread to cool, then tear into pieces and pulse in a food processor to make fine crumbs. Sieve the crumbs to remove large pieces.
1 1/2 cups of fine dried breadcrumbs (see note)
1/4 cup sesame seeds (untoasted)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 eggs, beaten
4 fillets sole (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
5 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nuoc Cham (see recipe) and lemon or lime wedges
Mix the crumbs with the sesame seeds in a shallow bowl. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper in another bowl. Place the beaten eggs in a third bowl.
Dredge each piece of sole on both sides first in the flour, then in the egg, then in the crumbs, creating a nice even crust. Chef’s trick: use one hand for dry ingredients (flour and crumbs) and one hand for wet ingredients (egg) so you don’t gum up the works.
Lay each piece of breaded sole on a large plate or parchment-lined baking sheet until you are finished breading.
In two large nonstick saute pans or in one very big frying pan, heat the peanut oil and butter over high heat. The oil and butter should be about 1/4-inch deep in the pan. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the breaded fillets. When the fish is crusty and golden brown on the first side, flip it over to cook the other side. When both sides are crusty and golden, remove the fish from the pan. Total cooking time is about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels before serving.
Serve the pan-fried fillets with ramekins of nuoc cham and lemon or lime wedges.
Nuoc Cham ingredients
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemon grass (white part only)
Whisk together the lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, water, cilantro, chili flakes and lemon grass.
(Photo by Greg Gilbert, Seattle Times staff photographer)