Rock sole, yellowtail flounder, sand dab, yellowfin sole, dab; Dover sole, Alaska Dover, American Dover; petrale sole, California sole; gray sole, lemon sole, witch flounder; summer flounder, plaice Northern fluke
Around 540 flatfish species belong to the taxonomic order Pleuronectiformes, meaning “sideswimmer.” Flatfish are found throughout the world, though the most commercially important family, Plueronectidae, is concentrated in northern waters. Yellowtail is the most important Atlantic Coast flounder, and petrale sole is the most important West Coast species. Flatfish have both eyes on one side of the head, though they begin life as normal fish. As they become bottom dwellers, one eye migrates to the other side, resulting in “right-eyed” and “left-eyed” flatfish. Soles and flounders harvested commercially in North America are right-eyed, except fluke. Flounder fillets vary in shape, depending on the species. Gray sole offers long, slender fillets; yellowtail flounder, rock sole, lemon sole, fluke and dab offer thicker, broader fillets.
Raw flounder ranges from tan to pinkish to snow white, but cooked meat of all species is pure white, lean, boneless and flaky with a mild flavor, ranging from bland to sweet. Taste and texture vary, depending on species. Petrale sole, with firm, delicate-tasting flesh, is considered the premier Pacific sole. Pacific Dover, with softer flesh, is a lesser-quality product. Cooked meat of smaller soles and flounders is delicate, while larger species like fluke or dab are firm and meaty.The sweet taste and firm texture of yellowtail flounder is often regarded as the standard to which other flounders are compared. Lemon and gray sole aren’t far behind.
Use wine, sauce, other liquids or moist vegetables to keep thin flatfish fillets from drying out. Avoid sauces and herbs that overpower their delicate taste. Thicker fillets are great for broiling, served with lightly herbed butter. The firm and meaty flesh of larger species like fluke or dab is good for rolling or stuffing. Small H&G sole — like rex or gray — can be grilled, baked or stuffed, but not filleted, because fillets would be too small.
Mattes Seafood offers high quality product at competitive prices, and the product is the freshest it can be. They are extremely responsive. I don’t know that there’s anyone else out there who does it like they do. They keep us well informed of the market, the weekly opportunities and the different seafood options. If there are issues, they always do a good job of making things right.
Kevin DaviesOwner and Culinary DirectorIron Hill Brewery
Mattes Seafood has been working with Libertore’s in Perry Hall for years. The service provided by Michael Mattes and his company are always exceptional. We have never incurred any problems, we know we can always call even if it is last minute and we will be taken care of. We couldn’t ask for a more reliable vendor. All of their products are always delivered fresh and they are completely able to meet our needs! We are more than happy with the service provided and would love to continue to work wi… Read more
Cosmo SavinoLiberatore's Perry Hall
We use a wide variety of fresh fish every week, and Mattes Seafood’s quality is second to none. They do the best job in the industry. We view Mattes as a partner. They’ve proven to be honest, fair and reliable –we trust them and know they are going to deliver what they say they will.
Dan BethardAssistant Culinary Director and Corporate ChefIron Hill Brewery
We’ve been working with Mattes Seafood for about 12 years. Their quality is always excellent, their service is great and their pricing is always competitive. If we ever have an issue, Rick takes care of it immediately, no questions asked. If someone else comes in to try to get that business, I tell them they have to beat Mattes on two counts: service and quality – it’s not just based on price.
Gianmarco MartuscelliOwnerChesapeake Inn
Mattes Seafood has been our main Seafood Purveyor for over 20 plus years at The Lancaster Country Club. Their teams commitment to quality and sourcing the freshest fish available is outstanding. I would highly recommend them to anyone.
Greg MyersCEC Executive ChefLancaster Country Club
I can’t say enough good things about you! I love this place!! Frank and his crew go FAR out of their way to ensure the utmost customer satisfaction. Over the years I’ve put their motto, ‘If it swims we can get it’ to the test, and they never disappoint! They really can get ANYTHING! Truly a chef’s dream. I look forward to continuing to call Mattes Seafood for any and all of my seafood needs.