Friends of ours are in California and they wanted to have some Sand Dabs. They will have to wait until the season is correct. Fall? Here is some information that Robin found about Sand Dabs. They remind me of flounder on the east coast which are usually available in the fall.
“What is the history of the sanddab? Where is it caught and when is the season?
As with all fish, you get a different answer depending on whom you ask. Alan Davidson, author of The Oxford Companion to Food and one of the world’s foremost authorities on seafood, refers to the sand dab as a European fish, found in the North Atlantic. It is a flatfish, with a brown back, and can reach 16 inches in length, although is often closer to 10. He says it is “a good fish, with a pleasing flavour, well suited to being fried.”
Davidson says that English colonists conferred the name dab on other species that they found in their travels that appeared similar to the original dab. So a dab becomes a lot less specific on this side of the Atlantic. There is a species of sand dab found in the Pacific Ocean from California to Alaska, with a market weight of 4 to 12 ounces. There is another flatfish found in the Atlantic, with a market weight of 2 to 3 pounds, that is known as the sand dab, but is more correctly named American plaice. The plaice has also been called a flounder and a sole, although Davidson says its scientific name (hypoglossoides platessoides) suggests it is a relative of the halibut. So you are likely to find various varieties of flatfish being referred to a dabs or sand dabs.
Dabs caught in the spring and those that lived on a sandy seabed (as opposed to mud) are said to have the best flavor. They are best poached, fried, or grilled.”
Good article and information. Want to try this fish? Look at this cooking suggestion I found. Enjoy.
Here is a recipe for Sand Dabs from Giovannio’s Fish Market & Galley in Morro Bay, CA. that I found. See their link in the sidebar. The recipe and this photo are from there. This looks great!
Panko Fried Sand Dabs
2 pounds Sand Dab Fillets
1 egg (beaten)
2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
Salt & Pepper
Butter (for frying)
Lemon Wedges for garnish
Dip the sand dabs into the beaten egg; season with salt and pepper, roll in panko bread crumbs. Heat a large skillet, add butter and fry until golden brown and crispy. Serve with lemon wedges.