Seasonal fish of the Month - Turbot
Turbot or ‘dustbin lids’ as they are affectionately known by most fishermen are an unashamed indulgence.
Cheap they are not, but for fine eating at home or in a restaurant, many (including this writer) would rate them as the best fish in the sea. Although turbot is one of the more expensive group of ‘prime’ fish, which includes John Dory, Dover sole, red mullet and monkfish, it is good value in early summer when the best catches of turbot are made as many fishermen believe that the fish start to move across their favourite sandy ground when the sun starts shining. But if you can’t spoil yourself in the summer don’t worry as turbot is available all year round from quality fish suppliers.
Due to its access to the clean deeper waters of the western approaches, Cornwall is the UK’s capital for turbot landings with a total of approx. 100 tonnes landed into the main ports of Newlyn, Padstow and Looe each year. They are predominantly caught in large mesh tangle nets but also as a welcome by-catch in trawls. Turbot are also a so-called non-pressure stock so there are no quota restrictions on landings.
The turbot itself is an impressive and powerful flat fish that commonly grows to 4-6kg in weight although larger specimens up to 10kg are sometimes landed. Larger fish are usually served in thick steaks making the brilliant white meat easy to slide off the flat backbone. And unlike many of the fish caught in Cornwall, turbot are greatly sought after in this country, mostly by top restaurants in the County and London and in our view is best enjoyed as a thick steak served with some hollandaise sauce.
Other fresh fish and shellfish in season
This month you can also enjoy: