Dab is the smallest of the flatfish, weighing on average only 250g/9oz. It looks similar to plaice and has soft, sweet flesh. It’s caught mainly in British inshore waters as bycatch, but is growing in popularity as a sustainable and cheaper alternative to plaice. It can be grilled, pan-fried or baked whole.
Dab is available from good fishmongers, some supermarkets or from local markets in coastal towns. Like many other flatfish, dab is best avoided during the spawning season, and is at its best from September to May.
A whole dab can be filleted, but is probably best just trimmed of its fins, head and blood-line. Whole fish can be grilled, baked, or rolled in seasoned flour and pan-fried. Fillets should be floured and pan-fried or poached for best results.