Two of the most popular flat fish include the flounder and the turbot. These two bottom-dwelling fish species find their way on restaurant menus and in seafood markets across the nation. Despite the similar appearance, differences exist between the two. What exactly is the difference between a flounder and a turbot?

What Does A Flounder Look Like

Consider the shape of a flounder to be in the form of a football, however one that has become flattened. 

The upper side of the fish is brown, with black circles scattered about the skin’s surface. On this side, the eyes are located near the mouth. 

Opposite the dark top side is a snow-white bottom. The underside is white because it rests on the sandy or muddy seafloor. 

When the flounder are fully grown, they will measure up to two feet in length. 

What Does A Turbot Look Like

Unlike the oblong flounder, turbot is a circular-shaped flat fish. The top side is most often gray to sandy brown depending on the habitat. Much like the flounder, the bottom side of the turbot is white. 

In regards to size, the flounder and the turbot grow to the same length. The fish are nearly identical with the exception of the shape. 

Where Do Flounder Live

Significant populations of southern flounder live in the states of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. However, the range extends far beyond these three states. 

The southern flounder is caught by anglers between Florida to the south up to Nova Scotia. 

Where Do Turbot Live

Unfortunately, the turbot is not caught in the United States. As a result, the turbot and flounder cannot be compared side to side by anglers. 

The turbot resides in the Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea, and in the northern portions of the Atlantic Ocean. Needless to say, the turbot prefers cold water. 

What Does A Flounder Taste Like

First off, flounders are one of the most simple fish to fillet. However, the flesh is extremely delicate so handle the meat gently. 

As a result of the fillets being sweet, flaky, and mild, they can be cooked in many ways. The most popular cooking methods include frying, broiling, and baking. Pair the fish with a side of coleslaw and french fries. 

What Does A Turbot Taste Like

Despite both the flounder and the turbot being flat fish, the fillet taste and texture are different. Turbot is known to have a firm texture with large flakes compared to flounder’s small flakes and soft texture. 

Fish eaters describe turbot to have a more fishy taste than flounder, but most consider the flesh mild. 

As a result of the firmness, the best cooking methods include poaching and steeming to ensure tenderness. 

How Can You Purchase Flounder And Turbot If It Is Not In A Local Store

Depending on location, species of fish are challenging to source from local markets. However, online seafood distributors offer a vast selection and ship directly to your door. 

One exception to availability is the seasonality of fish. For online markets to offer only fresh fish, the store will not provide species during closed harvesting periods per the local governments.

Now Can You Tell The Difference Between Turbot And Flounder

Despite the similarities between the flat fish they are distinctly different. Each species resides in other regions of the world. The flounder is known as a better-tasting fish, and each is unique in regards to the shape. The next time you’re at a seafood market, purchase both and have a taste test to determine what suits your specific palate.