There are so many types of edible fish in the world. This list does not aim to cover every type of fish. I do want to show you the variety of food you can experience, even if you have celiac disease or a gluten allergy.
The list has been broken into several parts. This one covers flat fish.
For more information about fish and the gluten free diet, see Gluten Free Foods – Fish.
Types of Fish
You can classify fish in many different ways: fresh water vs. salt water, wild-caught vs. farmed, bony vs. easy, or along biological classification lines.
For the purposes of this list, we will look at typical fish, with gills, fins and a tail, but not shell fish or other types of sea food such as lobster or sea cucumbers. This part of the list is of flat fish.
List of Flat Fish
Brill is a type of ocean-going flat-fish. They live in the Atlantic, Baltic Sea and Mediterranean. It is similar to turbot, but you may find it at a lower price.
Dab (Sand Dab)
Dab live on the bottom of the Atlantic, and off the coast of New Zealand. The do not have much flavour. They must be very fresh to get any enjoyment out of them. Grill or pan-fry them.
Halibut live in very cold water on the northern fringes of the Atlantic: Newfoundland, Scotland, Norway and Iceland. These are large flat fish that often weight up to 15kg, but sometimes reach 27kg. They have tasty, solid meat.
Whole small fish are great, as are the fillets or steaks cut from a larger fish. Get steaks from the middle of the fish, where there is more meat and less bone.
Flounder are found in many parts of the world, although species vary. They must be eaten very fresh.
Plaice live in northerly waters such as the Atlantic, and in the Mediterranean. The flesh is soft and bland, and not very flavorful. They must be very fresh or the meat looses what little texture it has. They are available year-round, but their flavor and texture are poorest during the summer months. Look for fish with bright distinctive orange spots, as this indicates freshness.
Dark-skinned fillets may be cheaper than white-skinned, but they taste exactly the same. If you have recipes for Brill or Sole, they will work just as well with Place.
Place is often served battered so it is not the best choice in restaurants.
Megrim lives in the English Channel. Not the most exciting of fish, the flesh is somewhat dry and rather bland.
Dover sole has delicate, firm flesh and a fantastic flavor. Some of the fish described above are uninteresting, but dover sole is worth checking out for sure! Most of them come from the English Channel and near-by Atlantic, but some also come from the Baltic, Mediterranean and North Sea.
The surprising thing about dover sole is that they are best cooked three days after being caught, so if you buy them absolutely fresh, leave them in the fridge for a few days.
The under-side should be very white and the skin rather sticky.
Because this is such an excellent fish, grilling it, then adding butter and some lemon is a great way to enjoy this fish. Save your fancy recipes for less interesting fish that need the dressing up.
Lemon Sole (Yellowtail Flounder)
Lemon sole is found in the North Sear, Atlantic, and off the coast of New Zealand. It is more closely related to flounder, plaice and dab than to dover sole. Although comparable to place, it is quite a bit nicer.
Make sure this fish is fresh. Grill or fry in butter. It is often battered so may not be a good gluten-avoiding choice at restaurants, although they should be able to grill just like you can.
If you have a recipe for dab, plaice or dover sole, you can use it for lemon sole. In fact if you have a gluten-free recipe for dover sole, you may prefer to use it with lemon sole and save the dover sole for more more simple treatment so you can fully enjoy it.
Turbot lives in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Black Sea. They have been introduced to New Zealand waters as well. They can be farmed so you may have a choice of wild-caught or farmed. Wild-caught are very expensive. Farmed ones should be cheaper, but may be fatty.
Avoid tubot if the flesh has a blue tinge.
Turbot can be grilled, or poached. Often it is poached in white wine sauce, or milk. If you avoid wine or have a milk allergy, ask careful questions of the chef if you’re not making it yourself.