Heston Blumenthal’s Crispy lemon sole with potted shrimps and cucumber

Deciding you’re going to attempt a Heston Blumenthal recipe is a pretty intimidating process.

I don’t own an industrial blow torch, dry ice or a sous vide, so I needed to find something that was relatively simple for his standards.

This recipe is actually simple for anyone’s standards. There are no complicated processes involved in making this, but the flavour is great – very clean, simple but refined.

I’ve never had hot cucumber before. It turns out, hot cucumber is very nice.

My presentation is obviously not as neat as the original, but that’s mostly because you’re supposed to trim the fish into a neat square and I don’t believe in wasting perfectly good sole just for aethestics. It’s not cheap, you know!

Recipe is from Heston Blumenthal at Home – also published in olive magazine – and apparently loads of other places.

Crispy lemon sole with potted shrimps and cucumber 

(Serves 4)

  • 2 slices of white sandwich bread
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Finely grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 4 lemon or Dover sole fillets, skinned
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 250g potted shrimps, shop-bought
  • 5g dill
  • ½ cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and sliced
  • Pea shoots


Preheat the oven to 110°C.

Cut the crusts off the bread slices and place them between two sheets of clingfilm. Using a rolling pin, roll to a thickness of 2mm. Remove the clingfilm and season the bread with a little salt and some of the lemon zest.

Place the fillets of fish on the rolled bread (two fillets on each slice) and trim the fish and bread to ensure that they are the same size. You will have four pieces.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat, then place the fillets, bread-side down, in the pan and sauté them until golden brown (approximately 3 minutes).

Remove from the pan andplace the fillets, fish-side down, on a tray lined with baking parchment. Place in the oven for approximately 5 minutes.

Put the potted shrimps in a small saucepan and warm them gently over a low heat until the butter is completely melted. Finely chop the dill and add it to the shrimps with the cucumber, lemon juice and remaining zest, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place a spoonful of the potted-shrimp mixture in the middle of each plate and put the lemon-sole fillets on top, fish-side down. Drizzle some of the remaining shrimp butter around the plates and garnish with pea shoots.