The flounder is a large family of flatfish which includes such members as the sole and the halibut. They are a demersal fish which means they live and feed on the bottom of the ocean.
They have a shape similar to an oblong pancake with both of their eyes on one side. The flounder has eyes on both sides when it is born. As they grow into juvenile stage, one of their eyes merges to the other side. They will become right eyed or left eyed depending on their type. Their topside has a dark color, usually brown or dark gray and their belly side is an off white. Most left eyed flounder have the ability to change color to match the surrounding bottom. They lay on the ocean floor with their dark side up. This works as camouflage for predators. Some fisheries sell American flounders under the name of sole because of their many similarities.
Types of Flounder
Arrow tooth flounder
From the west coast the arrow tooth can live up to 25 years. Their flesh can easily turn mushy. Because of this they are not as important commercially and are often sold as turbot, although they are not actually a turbot.
This flounder lives in shallow water of the Pacific. It is important for commercial and sport fishing, especially in the Oregon and Washington areas. Their fins and tails are black and orange striped.
Also called black back, these live on the east coast. They are known for their delicious white meat and are sometimes sold as lemon sole. They are a right eyed fish, have no teeth and can grow to 9 pounds.
Also called fluke, these fish are found in the Pacific and are of the left eyed variety. They are by far the most popular flounder on the east coast and are very important both for sport and commercial fishing. They have sharp teeth and average about 3 pounds but can grow up to 26 pounds. The summer flounder is considered to be the best eating of the American flounder.
No matter what name they go under, it is a good eating fish and is of major importance to the fishing industry.
Their very flaky, firm flesh is very mild in flavor and remains moist after cooking. The best way to prepare is to Broil Poach, Bake, Oven fry or Pan Fry. Click on one of the following links for directions for cooking. HOW TO BROIL FISH
How to poach fish, How to bake fish, HOW TO OVEN FRY FISH, HOW TO PANFRY Fish