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Petrale Sole
Petrale Sole

Actually, if we’re talking petrale sole, you’ve actually got flounder. Whatever you call it, this tasty fish is a great choice for a quick and healthy dinner—it cooks in minutes and it’s easy to pair with your favorite sauces and side dishes. Available fresh and usually well-priced at fish shops and supermarkets this time of year, petrale sole’s moist, firm flesh and sweet, delicate flavor make it our go-to fish for just about any preparation.

Petrale is a Pacific flatfish found from Alaska to southern California. It is one of several varieties of flounder called “sole” commercially; the only true sole sold in America is Dover Sole, imported from the European side of the North Atlantic. True sole has a firmer, finer texture than flounder and is considerably more expensive and harder to find here. The Pacific Coast petrale fisheries are well-managed with abundant stocks, and petrale is noted as a good seafood choice by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and the Environmental Defense Fund’s Seafood Selector. A great source of lean protein, petrale is extremely low in fat and makes a great addition to a healthy diet.

Petrale is usually available in serving-sized filets. We love to dredge it in a mixture of flour, cornmeal, salt and cayenne and pan-fry it in olive oil. Its sweet flesh is nicely complemented by tart capers and lemon, green olives and summer tomatoes, or a spicy remoulade. Serve it with crispy roasted potatoes or an aromatic pilaf of rice or barley. The key to delicious petrale is to cook it very quickly (2-3 minutes per side) just before serving to maintain its moist tenderness. So stop floundering around—get some sole tonight!