Flounder

Species Information

Flounder are the most important flatfish family. They are found in waters between 130 and 230 feet deep on sandy bottoms and can live up to 17 years.

Their Latin name, Pleuronectidae, means “sideswimmer” because they start out as round fish but as they mature and become bottom-dwellers, one eye migrates to the same side of the head as the other eye and the fish actually swim on their sides.

There are right-eyed and left-eyed flounders. They use color adaptation to match the ocean floor and may partially bury themselves for camouflage.

Cooking & Handling

Store flounder fillets up to 1 day refrigerated.

Flounder is a good, low-fat source of B vitamins and an excellent source of niacin.

Avoid sauces and herbs that overpower the flounder’s delicate taste. Fillets from large fish may be stuffed, rolled and baked. Flounder is quite lean, so do not overcook. As soon as flesh is opaque, it is done.

Flavors that work well with flounder are bell pepper, butter, chervil, chives, cream, dill, fennel, gruyére cheese, lemon, mint, mushroom, parmesan cheese, parsley, shallot, spinach, tarragon, tomato, white vermouth, white wine and zucchini.

Cooking Methods

Bake, Broil, Fry, Sauté

Global Supply

China, Iceland, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, United States

Seasonal Availability

Fresh and frozen are available year-round. Peak seasons are May-June and October-November.

Did You Know?

Yellowtail flounder were not considered a valuable flatfish until the mid-1930s when the stock of winter flounder declined. Today it is in high demand at the fish market.

Flounder have been identified as a good candidate for aquaculture because they grow quickly and have high market value.

Scientific Name

Pleuronectidae

Market Name

Flounder

Common Names

Dover sole, Alaska dover, petrale sole, California sole, rex sole, rock sole, Alaska flounder, yellowfin sole, gray sole, witch flounder, yellowtail flounder, fluke, summer flounder, dab, American plaice

Substitutions

Other thin whitefish fillets

Raw Characteristics

  • thin-bodied
  • brownish skin with black spots on top side; bottom side is white
  • tan, pinkish or snow white meat
  • market wt 1–5 lbs

Cooked Characteristics

  • mild, bland to sweet tasting
  • bright white meat
  • delicate texture; flaky

Pronunciations

French: pleuronectidés
German: schollen
Italian: pleuronectidi
Japanese: akagarei
Spanish: platja americana