Other Names: Sole, European flounder
Range & Habitat: Northern Atlantic, European Coasts, Arctic Circle
Identification & Biology: This large flatfish can weigh up to 30 lbs. (most range from 3 to 10 lbs.). It is sand-colored and scaleless, with bony tubercles speckling the skin, which is usually removed before the fish is eaten.
Market Description: The white flesh of the European turbot is prized for its lovely, delicate flavor. It is firm in texture and low in fat.
Flavor Profile: small flake, delicate flesh, medium oily flavor
Fishing Technique: trawl, gigging, long line
Special Note: Farmed
Suitable Sub: sole, flounder, flatfish variety
Sold as: Steaks, fillets, whole (less common)
Buying tips: Try to find turbot that have been imported from European waters--these are of the finest quality, with the firmest and most flavorful meat. They will invariably be more expensive than non-European turbot. Turbot is imported frozen. Look for pure white meat that is free of gaping, browning, and signs of drying. The smell should be fresh.
Recommended Preparation: Turbot is best prepared simply--the idea is to accent, and not to mask, its subtle flavor. It is excellent poached in dry white wine, or cooked with fresh herbs en papillote. The light meat is also delicious steamed, baked or broiled.
Substitutes: Other flatfish, especially halibut.