Citrus Flounder Recipe


SpotX Wild Foods Recipe from Gillian Maire
Prep:5 minutes Cook:14 minutes Difficulty:1


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • 4 flounder or sole fillets.
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange.
  • Juice of 1 lemon.
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives.
  • ½ teaspoon salt.
  • A pinch of white pepper.


  • Heat oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
  • Place fish in the pan and sprinkle with orange and lemon juices.
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes, until fish flakes easily when tested with fork.
  • Sprinkle with orange zest, chives, salt and pepper.





Flounder The name ‘flatfish’ covers a number of species in general terms, including yellow-bellied flounder, dabs and soles. Call them what you like; they are all good eating fish, with the yellow-bellied flounder being the culinary pick of the bunch.
These species can be found all over New Zealand in a variety of environments on the open mud and sandy bottoms; way out wide to the surf line inshore, as well as the sandbanks and mudflats of our harbours. They are trawled, netted and speared, the last done mostly on still nights in the shallows.



Divers gathering scallops and oysters regularly come across flounder and soles hunkering down on the ocean floor where they attempt to hide by covering themselves in silt and sand. It is only their oval outline that gives them away and when disturbed they have an amazing turn of speed over a short distance.
Fly casting and light-tackle anglers with a great deal of patience have turned catching flounder into something of an art form, using small crab-imitation flies or vegetables such as peas and corn to catch dinner. They report the flounder give a good account of themselves on the light gear.
As table fare, flounder are high up there in the top 10 of the most popular eating fish. They have a delicate flavour, not unlike john dory, and can be prepared simply by taking out the gut and cooking whole. Freshly caught flounder fried in clarified butter or a lemon-infused olive oil, with a little salt and pepper, takes a great deal of beating. Cooked flounder roe, which is not removed in the gutting process, is something of a delicacy.
There is a bit of a learning curve with successfully negotiating a flounder fillet. Cooked properly, the flesh can be easily picked off one side before flipping the whole fish over and demolishing the other side, steering clear of the small bones on the outer extremities of the backbone.
Larger flounder can be filleted using a sharp, flexible knife. Make the first cut from the back of the head on the diagonal past the gills and pectoral fin. Keeping the blade tight against the backbone, work down towards and over the spine, progressing back toward the tail, as you would for most other fish such as snapper. Leave the skin on as this crisps-up well and holds a great deal of flavour.



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