Turbot is a large, saltwater flatfish known for its firm, white flesh and delicate flavor.

From the Scophthalmidae family, it is found in shallow waters of the Mediterranean, North Atlantic and Baltic Sea.

What kind of fish is turbot?

Many members of the flatfish family, including turbot, have eyes on the left side of their head and are easily recognised by their disk-shape body. Some have been recorded to grow up to 39 inches long, weighing up to 55 pounds, or 25 kilos. Turbot has no scales, instead its body is covered in bone-like knobs known as ‘tubercles.'’ A master of camouflage, the turbot is able to change colour from sand to grey depending on the sea bed.

Where can turbot be found?

Currently farmed in countries including Bulgaria, France, Spain and Portugal, turbot is one of the most highly-prized fish species, having held an honorable status in Europe for more than two thousand years.

Wild turbot fishing is mostly unsustainable, making farmed Turbot the recommended choice for purchase.

What to look for when buying turbot

Some lower quality species of flatfish are often referred to as 'European turbot', as is the case for West Coast flounders and Greenland turbot.

They have less flavour and softer flesh in comparison to real turbot. To ensure the best quality of turbot before buying, when touched, it should feel firm and free of any unpleasant odours. The fins should be in good condition, the fish’s eyes should be clear, and its gills should still be bright red.

How to cook turbot

Available year-round for purchase (either as a whole fish, in fillets or steaks, bearing in mind that when using the whole fish, the bones help to add flavour) dry-heat methods of cooking such as baking, roasting, grilling and pan-frying are recommended for a flavoursome finish, but should be approached cautiously.

Other methods such as wet-heat cooking are sometimes preferred due to the delicacy of the turbot. These can include poaching, steaming or cooking en papillote.

To complement the fish, opt for light sauces, such as a hollandaise or a herby sauce such as parsley or dill.

The limited global supply and the popularity of Turbot means it’s not a cheap option, but will make for an exquisite meal.

How to check if turbot is cooked

To check if turbot is cooked, insert a sharp knife in the thickest part of flesh. If it's cooked through, the knife will come out hot and the flesh will feel springy.

Turbot recipes: