Steamed Lemon Sole with Hop Shoots and White Wine Sauce

For a dressy dinner party main course, ring the changes with Martin Blunos' innovative steamed lemon sole with tender hop shoots
By Martin Blunos
Steamed Lemon Sole with Hop Shoots and White Wine Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the tomatoes

  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
  • 1 clove garlic, shredded
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper

For the fish

  • 250 ml fish stock
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 250 ml double cream
  • lemon juice, to taste
  • 4 x 450 g lemon sole fillets
  • 250 g fresh hop shoots


1. For the tomatoes, preheat an oven to its lowest setting. Keep the stalks on the cherry tomatoes and spread out on a baking tray. Scatter over the thyme leaves and garlic slivers. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.

2. Bake in a low oven for 6-8 hours, or until the tomatoes have lost their shape and dried a little.

3. For the fish sauce, simmer the stock and wine until reduced by half. Stir in the cream and reduce to a coating consistency.

4. Season with salt and pepper and add lemon juice to taste. Strain the sauce through a fine strainer into a clean pan, cover and keep warm.

5. To cook the fish, season the skin side of the sole fillets and tie each fillet into a loose knot. Place each knotted fillet on a steamer basket placed over a pan half-filled with simmering water. Cover and steam for about 6 minutes, or until the fish is flaky to the touch.

6. For the hop shoots, bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Plunge the trimmed hop shoots into the boiling water for 2-3 minutes before tipping into a colander and draining well. Season with salt and pepper, and brush each fillet with olive oil.

7. Remove the sole from the steamer and squeeze over a few drops of lemon juice. Arrange on a serving plate, spoon over the sauce, and accompany with the blanched hop shoots and roasted tomatoes.

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