Seared Turbot with Beurre Blanc

This elegant yet easy bistro classic is great with any firm white fish.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    30 minutes


By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on June 13, 2024

Turbot, a flatfish found in the North Atlantic, is pan-seared and generously sauced with a classic accompaniment of beurre blanc in this recipe adapted from Allard, a beloved old-guard bistro in Paris. If you can’t find turbot, you can substitute fillets of sole, fluke, or flounder. As for what to drink, Sancerre is an elegant match for this fish dish.

Featured in “Spirit of the Bistro” by Alexander Lobrano.


For the beurre blanc:

  • 10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, divided
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

For the fish:

  • ¼ all-purpose flour
  • 2 boneless, skinless turbot, sole, fluke, or flounder fillets (7–10 oz. each)
  • Finely chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Step 1

Make the beurre blanc: To a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the butter and cook until lightly browned, 2–4 minutes. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 4–5 minutes. Add the wine, bay leaf, and thyme, and cook until the wine has almost evaporated, 5–7 minutes. Add the cream, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 4–6 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat, then remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme.

Step 2

Divide 5 tablespoons of the butter into two batches. Add one batch to the skillet, whisking continuously until the butter melts and the sauce is smooth, 3–5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batch of butter. (For a smoother sauce, strain the beurre blanc through a fine-mesh sieve.) Season the beurre blanc to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover, keep warm, and set aside.

Step 3

Prepare the fish: Place the flour on a large, shallow plate. Season both sides of the fish fillets to taste with salt and black pepper. Dip each fillet quickly into the flour, shaking off the excess.

Step 4

In a separate large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter until foamy, about 1 minute. Add the fish to the skillet in one layer and cook, basting with butter and turning once, until the fillets are browned and cooked through, 4–6 minutes total.

Step 5

Using a fish spatula, transfer each fillet to a warm serving plate and top with beurre blanc. Garnish with parsley, then serve immediately with lemon wedges.

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