You hear a lot in the news about certain fish species you should stay away from, especially with fish farming in the US. So, many people wonder, is flounder good to eat? In reality, it depends on a lot of factors such as harvesting and preparation, but for the most part, flounder is a delicious ocean whitefish.
Can You Eat Flounder?
While you can find flounder all throughout the Pacific and throughout Western Canada, many people are unsure about whether or not this fish is as healthy as they think. Most assume that all fish is good for you, but that’s not always the case. The good news is, flounder has a ton of health benefits.
Eating eight ounces of flounder per week lowers your chances of developing heart disease. It’s also a great protein source, with 24 grams containing as much as 200 grams of protein. But keep in mind that it’s all in the preparation. Eating frozen fish doesn’t supply as much nutritional value because the flash-freezing process sucks out a lot of the nutrients. Most fish, including flounder, is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as phosphorous, magnesium, and B vitamins.
What Does Flounder Taste Like?
The taste you get from flounder depends a lot on the preparation and cooking process, but it has a firm texture with a mild sweet taste. It’s not as fishy as some others like tilapia or catfish, and there are many preparation options, which makes it a versatile whitefish. Overall, flounder is one of the mildest tasting fish, so it’s a great option for someone who might be trying fish for the first time or feels a bit unsure about it.
Is Flounder Safe to Eat?
For the most part, flounder is safe to eat. Many experts suggest staying away from Atlantic flounder because the waters they live in is highly contaminated, and the population of fish is so low that harvesting could cause shortages. They recommend going with Pacific flatfish whenever possible because the population is much stronger, the water is cleaner, and the process of harvesting them is better for the environment.
Can You Eat Flounder Raw?
If you love sushi, you may also like sashimi. This is the process of preparing fish in its raw state for consumption. Many people feel uneasy about this and think that eating raw flounder could be dangerous to their health. Not all fish is meant to be consumed raw, but flounder is one that you actually can! Some are flash steamed or even treated with vinegar to help remove some of the bacteria.
That said, it all comes down to the harvesting and preparation, as we’ve been saying. It’s safe to eat raw flounder, but it’s not safe if the fish has been sitting around, if there is cross-contamination, or if it’s gone bad by the time you eat it. It’s important that flounder used for sashimi and other raw methods are kept very cold right until you’re about to eat it.
How to Prepare Flounder
To prepare flounder, you’ll have to remove the scales, debone it, and fillet it for cooking. Understanding how to use a fillet knife will make this process much easier for you. First, you’ll scale the fish using the blunt side of the knife and rinse it thoroughly. Next, cut from the underside of the head to the tail right along the spine and repeat that on the other side. Lastly, you’ll cut vertically up the backbone until the knife comes out clean. By this point, you should have two clean fillets.
Cook the flounder based on your own personal taste. Lemon, garlic, and butter are always good accompaniments for ocean whitefish. If you’re not the biggest fan of fish, flounder is worth a try.