Preparing a Whole Dover Sole
To prep the Sole:
Cut off the tail. Remove the ventral and dorsal fins (the fins that run along the sides of the fish), the pectoral fins (small fins at the base of the head), and anal fins (near the rear of the fish’s belly. Use kitchen shears to cut out the gills under the flap at the base of the fish’s head. Discard the fins and gills.
1. Scale the white (bottom) side of the fish if it feels rough to the touch.
2. Fold the flap of the skin back and grip it firmly in one hand.
3. Grip the tail firmly with a towel and while keeping the sole flat against the cutting board pull away the black skin firmly and quickly. Proceed as you would with any flatfish by turning the sole over and scaling the white (bottom) side. Cut through the membrane covering the roe and viscera and pull out. Repeat on the other side.
Thanks to James Peterson for these instructions from his book “Fish & Shellfish”