Sunday, April 08, 2012


There was a sale on turbot. So we bought some. Turned out it was a whole fish, not even gutted. So we had to do the deed. Actually, Ken did it. I helped. Turbot is a flat fish, similar to sole and flounder. The flavor is not as delicate as sole, but it's darned close.

Our little turbot. See how beautifully clear the eye is? A good indicator of freshness.

A number of years ago, we saw a show on tv about how most, if not all, French turbot are farm-raised (note: I looked at the supermarket circular and found that this turbot was farmed in Portugal). It was a very interesting show and we still talk about it. So, when turbot went on sale, we decided we should give it a try.

Here he is before we started the filleting.

Filleting it was not all that hard. There are not really any scales on a turbot, so that wasn't an issue. Once the fillets were off, we cleaned up the carcass and boiled it to make fish stock. We'll pick the bones for bits of flesh as a treat for Bertie. I'm sure he'll like that.

Four fillets and a few extra bits. Ready for cooking.

I lightly floured the fillets and Ken sauteed them. We served them with a beurre blanc sauce made with fresh lemon and had some okra on the side. I also made a batch of rice-a-roni (home-made). We ate the whole fish. It would have served four for a real meal with appetizers and a cheese course and all, but the two of us decided it was best to eat it all. Yum.

Turbot in the pan. It was delicate, nutty, and delicious.

As for wine, we drank a Chablis that Ken got on a trip last year with our friend CHM. We've been saving it and we figured it was time to drink it and this fish dish seemed like the perfect thing to drink it with. And it was. Delicious.

Our wine selection. Chablis is made from chardonnay grapes.

We don't eat fish often, given that it's become very expensive, and we miss it. It's so good when it's good, if you know what I mean. So this turbot was a real treat. We'll look for it again. When it's on sale.


  1. It must have been a very small turbot if you managed to eat it all in one go! When I prep fish like that I usually skin it and cut the cartilege off the edges with scissors after filleting. Just makes a more pleasant eating experience. It must have been good to be able to get some at an affordable price - usually they are completely out of my league.

  2. There were no bones or cartilage along the edges. We lightly floured the fillets on the fleshy side but not the skin side. The white flesh just slipped right off the skin after the fillets were cooked. The turbot weighed about 1200 grams. And Bertie really enjoyed his breakfast of pickings from the boiled frame this morning!

  3. The new fishmonger at Grand Pressigny market had Turbot at around 8€ the kilo... and they were small... less than 40cm, for a fish that often weighs in at a metre long and around 30 kilos... one of the advantages of fish farming... you can take the harvest at the optimum time for flavour and saleability.
    We were tempted last week, but plumped for some nice plump YOUNG cod steaks and some fresh sardines... the steaks were lovely and the heads of the sardines made a very good "shut-up and eat it" soup with some of our remaining winter veg.
    The new 'monger is very good... all the fish have bright eyes and the only smell from the stall is the seaside!

  4. Oh, my, those sauté-ing filets look very, very good. That must have been one tasty meal!

  5. A good fish has to swim three times?
    First in water, then in butter and then in wine.

  6. One of the first things I learned about French wine is the wine in the Loire Valley is very good with fish. I hope to someday try these wines, but French wine is usually too $$$ to purchase here in the states.


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