How to Cook and Clean a Flounder





Introduction: How to Cook and Clean a Flounder

About: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!

Fast flat fish feast, by broiler.

Step 1: Find a Flounder

Catch or purchase some nice flounder. They may be called sole, halibut, turbot, plaice, fluke, or dab; all are flatfish, members of the order Pleuronectiformes.

These fish are flat (surprise!), and adults carry both eyes on the darker top side of the head. They tend to spoil quickly, so eat them soon after you catch them or make sure to buy one in very good condition. There should be no fishy smell, the flesh should spring back when you prod it, the eyes should be clear, and the gills bright.

Step 2: Clean Your Fish

If you purchase your fish, have the fishmonger do the scaling for you to avoid mess. If you caught it yourself, do the scaling outside. My fish came from Berkeley Bowl, so they'd already taken care of that for me.

Cut the head off, making sure to leave as much of flesh as possible on the body, but cutting the gills and pectoral fins off with the head.

Remove the guts through the forward opening. If you have problems getting everything out, cut a slit along the fish's length for better access.

Rinse the fish, and pat dry.

Step 3: Starch and Spray

Coat your clean, dried fish in a thin layer of starch. I used potato starch, but cornstarch will work just as well. The starch shouldn't be caked on; all you need is a light dusting.

Spray a baking dish with canola oil, add your fish, then spray the top side of the fish with canola oil.

Step 4: Season

Sprinkle your fish with the spices of your choice. I've used cajun seasoning here, but they'll take nicely to any strong flavor.

Step 5: Broil

Place your pan under a hot broiler, and cook the fish until the top skin just begins to brown and crackle. The fins will be crispy, too. Mine took something like 5-8 minutes; your mileage may vary.

Remember that this is a rather thin fish, and that it will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven! It's always better to undercook fish than to overcook it, as you can always pop it back under the broiler.

Let the fish cool for about 5 minutes, then check to make sure the thickest part is cooked. It should flake easily with a fork or thin knife.

Step 6: Serve

Serve your fish warm, with lemon wedges.

There will be small bones to remove, so provide a bone bowl to prevent them from getting lost on the plate and caught up in other dishes.

You can also get flounder fillets, but I really enjoy eating my fish whole. It's a bit more work at the table, but the flavor is better, the fish is fresher, and they're less likely to overcook than fillets. Take your pick.



    • BBQ Showdown Challenge

      BBQ Showdown Challenge
    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest
    • Backpack Challenge

      Backpack Challenge

    11 Discussions

    I've just bought some salted makerel, they are oily like you've covered them in butter - delicious & full of your omega-3's an' all that... May well post once I've cooked 'em.

    4 replies

    Sounds good! I love mackerel sushi, but haven't figured out how to properly cook them fresh & whole. We made some the other day, but weren't particularly satisfied. (so it won't be an Instructable.) I don't know that I've tried salted mackerel, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

    that was a sorry exuse for a flounder, and i clean then and its turns out alot better. but as im writing this the fluke season has ended, but i can post how to clean and cook a baneta tuna if you would like

    hey i did what u say and my flonder was great hey if u have time can u make a instructables on tuna

    1 reply

    There's a spicy tuna sashimi Instructable already in the queue! Just wait a couple of weeks until I've got free time...

    BBQ Hama-hama oyster has image of Virgin Mary on it. Well, Virgin Mary with red sauce.

    1 reply

    Cool! I hadn't noticed. Too bad we ate it instead of auctioning it off on eBay.

    Flounder. Fish. Sometimes tasty. Sometimes not. I like tasty fish.