9th April 2020

How to perfectly cook turbot

Tips from the kitchen

Like all white fish, turbot should be cooked with care and skill. Because turbot flesh is quite delicate, wet heat cooking methods such as steaming, poaching or cooking en papillote are preferable, though not crucial. Dry heat methods such as pan-frying, and grilling add flavour, but should be implemented gently.

Make sure you baste the fish with pan juices a couple of times during cooking to keep it moist.

To know when turbot is cooked, insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the flesh – if it’s cooked through the knife will come out hot to the touch. The flesh should also feel springy.

Baking or roasting turbot whole is one of the best – if not the best – ways of cooking this deluxe fish. Cooking turbot whole with the bones is always preferable as it adds flavour to the fish. Salt seals in moisture, making it an excellent way to bake turbot - making the fish succulent but not salty. When cooking turbot whole, ensure that it’s been gutted, with gills and scales removed or this can impart an unpleasant bitter taste. But don’t forget turbot is a big fish, so make sure your roasting tin can fit the whole turbot.

The most common way of cooking turbot fillets is to pan fry them, until golden brown and crispy, this can be done in a matter of minutes. The skin is normally removed before frying.

Anyone who has enjoyed the luxury of diving into a whole roast turbot can attest to the fact that this dish is a treat of the highest order, and not only because of the decadent price. Dished up in the centre of a table, its moist, flavoursome flesh will be enjoyed by all.


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

2. Place the turbot into a large baking tray along with any other desired ingredients. Drizzle over some olive oil, lemon juice and plenty of seasoning.

3. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the flesh has turned opaque and flakes from the bone when tested at the thickest part of the fish. Cover with tin foil halfway through cooking if the fish is starting to dry out.

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