If there’s one thing I enjoy more than anything else, it’s a day fishing aboard one of the charter boats that work out of Brighton Marina on the UK south coast. With luck, you can take home your catch and cook it!
In the winter we fish for big cod and pollack but in the summer for a couple of months, we fish for turbot.
Like Halibut, Turbot is a highly prized species (and often regarded as the best of the flatfish) with great flavour and firm, white flesh.
It has an almost round-shaped body, studded with bony tubercles on its dark side. Colour varies from light to dark brown, spotted with green or black and a white blind side.
The texture is similar to Halibut, but it has a slightly more pronounced ‘fishy’ taste, so requires very little to enhance the flavour.
It’s also a chef’s dream, as it retains plenty of moisture during cooking, preventing it from drying out – making it ideal for sharing.
It is not unusual to catch 3 or 4 good size fish and a number of juveniles during an 8-hour session, but we only keep what we want for the table, the rest go back under catch and release.
Turbot spoils quickly if not bled soon after catching and then kept cool for the rest of the day and the journey back to London.
Although I can clean the fish myself, usually one of the boat crew is good enough to do it for me, so the fish is ready for cooking when I get home.
After an early start, 2 hours driving each way, and a days fishing, the best bit is yet to come. Cooking and sharing a nice turbot with the family. It will keep happily in the fridge overnight but in my opinion, the fresher the better. Catch and cook it!