Brill differs from turbot in that it is not as large, is more oval, has smaller scales, the flesh not quite as firm, and it prefers less deep water.
They live at the bottom of the sea, where they hide in sand, on the European side of the North Atlantic.
Their underside is white; the upperside is dark. How dark it is depends on the kind of sea bottom the fish is living on, because the colour will adapt to camouflage the fish.
They eat small shrimp, fish and worms.
Brill come nearer the shore to breed. A female lays up to several hundred thousand eggs, and a male fertilizes the eggs outside the female. The eggs float about in currents. When the young fish have hatched, they feed on plankton for a few months until the fish are about 2/5 inch (10 mm) long. At this length, they start to tilt over into the sideways position they will spend the rest of their lives in, with their left side up. The left side starts to darken, and the eye from the right side drifts to the left side. At 3/5 of an inch long (15 mm), they have become miniatures of what they will be as an adult.
The largest that most brill comes to market at is about 6 pounds (2.7 kg), and will be about 23 1/2 inches (60 cm) long, but they can weigh up to 16 pounds (7 1/4 kg.)
They are worth catching after 4 years of age.
Brill have firm, white flesh, and are easy to fillet. Choose one whose underside is not bruised.
Good pan-fried, poached or grilled.
Allow a 3 1/4 pound (1.5kg) fish for 4 people.
Plaice or turbot