They are flat, roundish-oval salt-water fish that are sandy-brown coloured on their top side, and white on their undersides. Both of their eyes are on their upper side. It has no scales.
It lives at depths down to 260 feet (80 metres.) When at rest, it will often barely itself partly in the seabed, relying on the coloration of its upper side to camouflage it. The fish can grow up to 30 pounds (13 ½ kg), but usually caught around 3 to 6 pounds (1 ⅓ to 2 ¾ kg.)
It is a predator and eats other fish.
In Europe, it is fished from the Mediterranean up to Iceland.
Stocks of Turbot have become depleted because fishing has been allowed while the fish is spawning which is unfortunate, because the texture and taste of the fish isn’t as good when it’s spawning, anyway.
Some Pacific flatfish are also marketed as Turbot in North America, though they’re not really, and their flesh may be tougher. Another fish, a type of halibut fish (“Reinhardtius hippoglossoides”) being farmed in Norway, is sold in North America as Greenland Turbot, though it’s not a Turbot at all.
Turbot has lean, white flesh. If the flesh is bluish, it’s stale. Though the flesh is flaky when cooked, pieces of Turbot also hold their shape well. The flesh has a delicate flavour that is easily overwhelmed, so a light touch is needed in how you prepare it.
Turbot is not often sold whole; it is usually sold as steaks and fillets. In North America, it usually come to market frozen.
For baking, broiling, grilling, poaching, steaming.
Turbot is usually skinned before eating.