True Dover Sole Flavor Profile

True Dover Sole Flavor Scale

When purchasing Dover Sole the first thing to consider is whether it is a True Dover Sole, or a Pacific Dover Sole. They are not the same fish, and although Pacific Dover is a good fish, True Dover is a great fish. True Dover is really (truly) a Sole, whereas Pacific Dover is a Flounder, not a Sole. There is a big difference in flavor and texture between the two.

Dover Sole have a mild, sweet flavor with very firm, small flaked flesh. Legal Seafoods has this wonderful description: “The flavor of the Dover sole is mild and sweet, elusive and enticingly different from more mundane white fish species. It’s a special indulgence and always worth extra care and expense”. They have been considered both a delicacy and a mainstay of European cuisine for generations whose classic presentation includes being filleted tableside. The raw flesh is glistening white and remains a pure white color when cooked. Be careful not to over cook as it will become dry and will shrivel and curl.

Typical Cooking Methods

  • Bake
  • Broil
  • Deep-Fry
  • Grill
  • Poach
  • Saute
  • Smoke
  • Steam
  • Sushi

Alternate Names

European Dover Sole, Genuine Dover Sole, Common Sole

True_Dover_Sole.pngImage © Hans Hillewaert see licensing

True Dove Sole Description (Solea solea)

True Dover Sole are a thick-bodied European flatfish with eyes on the right side of the head and which grow to about 20 inches long. They have dark brown skin and longer more narrow bodies (relative to size) than other flatfish.

They can live to be 45 years old and reach commercial fishing size at about age six or seven. It became known as “Dover” sole because in the 19th century the fishing town of Dover, England kept London’s appetite for the fish satisfied by landing the most fish. Pacific Dover Sole are not the same fish.

Range & Habitat

True_Dover_Sole_Range.jpgAquaMaps Data sources: GBIF

Genuine Dover Sole are found along the Eastern Atlantic from Norway, the North Sea & Netherlands southward to the Mediterranean Sea to the central African Coast. They are found at depths between 1,300 to 3,300 feet, preferring sandy or muddy ocean bottoms.

Typical Wholesale Products

Dressed, Fillets

Fresh True Dover Sole Availability

Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec


Dover Sole Butchering Yield Percentage and Recovery

Item To Skin/On Fillets To Skin/Off Fillets Notes
Whole Head/On gutted 50% 40%
Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.


Nutritional Information

based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving.

* Calories/Calories from fat 156
* Protein grams 32.2
* Fat grams 27.8
* Saturated fat grams .5
* Sodium milligrams 139
* Cholesterol milligrams 82
* Omega-3 grams .3


Comments from before Site Migration

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DAVID BUCHANAN [ Jun 25, 2014 ]
Thanks Roy!

ROY [] [ Jun 23, 2014 ]
Very enlightening and we’ll written article


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