Fish of the week: lemon sole, excellent alternative to the pricey dover sole

“We need to learn to eat what the fisherman catches. Not only let fish what we have on our plate and want all the rest to throw away.’ We follow the motto of the NorthSeaChefs and today eat lemon sole, a fine fish from our own soil that this week was promoted to Fish of the Year. Chef Matthieu Beudaert delivers the corresponding hotel offers.


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“Our fish is the tastiest in the world, but we know him not.’ A pity, because the North sea offers a treasure chest of goodies. It is high time to change and the consumers ‘ awareness of the rich fish in Belgium, for example, in tweesterrenchef Filip Claeys. With his project NorthSeaChefs covet the initiator, together with a number of Belgian master chefs, to onbeminde and less well-known species of fish from us in the spotlight, them give them an identity, and so with consumer demand to stimulate.

The Belgian not-for-profit organisation society wants, as the fish the attention they deserve so that later on the eyebrows, not more gefronst when names such as dogfish, cuttlefish, weavers, pollack or pouting fall. Because they are tasty, have a low carbon footprint and in addition offer excellent alternatives to popular species by overfishing in the difficulty to hit or farmed fish such as pangasius, tilapia and salmon, with miles to travel before they are in the board forever.

Not only does the consumer better, also the fishing, which is a fair price for their catch.

This week, we will focus the spotlights on the lemon sole, brand-new Fish of the Year. With this award wants to FLAME the sale of this fine fish from our own soil what boost. Last year, only 2.2% of the Belgian families the fish in the house. That can be so much better.


Lemon sole belong together with sole, plaice, brill and turbot to the family of flatfishes, and not to the tongsoort as its name suggests. He has a smooth, brown-grey top with dark or pale spots and a white underside. The lateral line exhibits a very slight curvature at the level of the pectoral fins. A striking feature is its small head and mouth.

Lemon sole is sexually mature at an age of 4 years. The most fish measuring between 27 cm (the legal minimum aanlandingsmaat for lemon sole) and 40 cm when they just end up, but there are already copies up to 65 cm can be harvested.


Lemon sole is a widespread species in the North Atlantic ocean. He is spotted from the barents sea to the north of the bay of Biscay and are looking for especially places with stony and grindbodems, hence he is also called steenschol or steenschar is called. The largest populations can be found in the North sea and the fishing grounds around the British Isles.

View the landings of lemon sole in map

And the fisherman?

Belgian fishermen outwit lemon sole as bycatch while fishing for sole and plaice. That happens, especially in the North sea where a catch quota applies and the Eastern English channel, accounting for two-thirds of the total catch and an average of 950 tons per year.

Last year was the catch of lemon sole substantially lower, making it only the sixth place of the most imported fish species in our auctions held. Our fishermen get an average of 3.5 euros per kilo for.

In the kitchen

Lemon sole does not have the same reputation as the tongue, but culinary, they are particularly closely related. The meat of the lemon sole is a little softer than that of the tongue and the fillets are somewhat thicker. You can therefore smeuïger baking, giving them the nickname “melktong” has been completed. The name also refers to the diepwitte color of the fish meat.

Lemon sole is difficult to manually syrups. He is mainly filleted (double fillets) skinless offered. If you like lemon sole with skin on the head can tap, you can put him also on a sheet of baking such as plaice. Tongue is less suitable.

Most of the courts with sole or plaice may be lemon sole prepare. Lemon sole is particularly suited to baking on the bone (‘meunière’), poaching (‘à la nage’, ‘bouillabaisse’), to braise in the oven or microwave, and to stew.

Tip of the chef

Keep the preparation simple. Poached or fried he is the best.’

(Chefs Filip Claeys and Rudi Van Beylen)


Quinoasalade with escabèche of lemon sole

– A recipe of chef Matthieu Beudaert –

For 4 persons:


85 g quinoa (regular, red, brown or mix)

2 tbsp seeds (flaxseed, pumpkin seed, black sesame seed, hemp seed)

1 shallot

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1/2 green apple

4 leaves of fresh mint (finely chopped)

4 leaves flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)

1/2 fennel

1/4 cucumber


3 tbsp of quark cheese


honey or gembersiroop

juice of 1 lime

1 tsp Wostyn mustard

Lemon sole

4 filets of dabsole

4 tbsp white wine

lemon juice

coarse pepper

sprig of thyme

knolcapucien or East-Indian cherry

Method of preparation:

Boil the quinoa is cooked. Let cool to room temperature. Cut the fennel, shallot, apple and cucumber into cubes and mix together with lime juice and olive oil among the quinoa. Spice with pepper, salt, mint and parsley. Work with seeds.

Stir the honey, mustard, lime juice and currypoeder under the quark cheese.

Fry the filets of dabsole very briefly in a hot pan. Extinguish with white wine. Remove the fillets from the pan and add a little lemon juice, coarse pepper and thyme. Let cool to room temperature.

Place the lemon sole on the board. Spoon a little curry sauce next to the filet, and finish with a few drops of orange juice, quinoa and knolcapucien.

Portrait: Matthieu Beudaert

Young Keukengeweld and Young Chef of the year, Matthieu Beudaert (°1977), is a man with a vision. In his restaurant, Table d’Amis served at the beginning he only fish close to us.

From art history to a pure kitchen

Who 10 years ago said that Matthieu a career as a chef was waiting for them, would be welcomed to become a bulderlach. Art history was Matthieus dada and after his studies in Ghent, he moved to Brussels for a job in the civil service. Fortunately for many smaakpappil had Matthieu also a koksdiploma in evening classes were won, and the craving to eat greater than a 9-to-5 job. Started as a caterer put Matthieu eventually step into a restaurant in 2010. And he did immediately large eyes set in. By analogy with Michel Bras, he puts his product explicitly to the fore. He chooses consciously for a clear and recognizable style to the smaakdefinitie of a court organized and especially easy to maintain.

Traceability is key

Matthieu swears by ingredients that are easy to trace and is therefore always short on the ball. Noorzeevis is the example par excellence. With North Sea Chefs want to Matthieu the product again in the spotlight. “It’s better to fish close to us that you know how that is on your plate, than a cheaper fish that is in appalling circumstances from the other side of the world was transported.”


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