Whiting Quenelles with Sorrel Sauce

Recipes | Poaching Serves 4 as an entrée Whiting Quenelles with Sorrel Sauce

Quenelles, rather an old-fashioned preparation, are very simple once you master the technique of rolling the mixture between two spoons to create the quenelle shape. And they make a very pretty entrée floating in a sea of sorrel sauce.


500g Sand Whiting fillets, skin off, bones removed, roughly chopped
2 egg whites
Salt flakes and freshly ground white pepper, to taste 
150ml cream
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon finely chopped dill
Chervil sprigs, to garnish

Sorrel Sauce
50g butter
2 cups coarsely chopped sorrel leaves (see notes)
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup chicken stock 
⅓ cup cream


Make Sorrel Sauce: melt butter, stir in sorrel, salt and pepper and cook, covered, over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for a further 5 minutes. Puree with a stick blender or in a food processor, stir in cream and set aside in the saucepan. 

Blend Whiting, egg whites, salt and pepper in a food processor, until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour in cream, blending until incorporated. Stir in lemon rind and dill. 

Half fill a deep-sided frying pan with water, bring to the boil then reduce heat until water is gently simmering with just a trace of bubbles forming. Use 2 wet dessertspoons to mould mixture into oval-shaped quenelles. Gently place each quenelle into the water as it’s formed. Poach for 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel in a warm place.

Meanwhile, reheat Sorrel Sauce over a low heat. 

Divide sauce between 4 shallow serving bowls, top each with 3 quenelles and garnish with chervil. 


Sorrel has quite a tangy, lemony taste, if you prefer a more peppery flavour, substitute watercress or, for a milder flavour, use English spinach.

Alternative species:

Atlantic Salmon, Bream, Goldband Snapper, Leatherjacket, Tarwhine, other Whitings.

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