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What Does Flounder Taste Like? Quick Guide

Quick Answer: What Does Flounder Taste Like?

Flounder is a milder tasting fish that is suitable for those who do not usually eat ‘fishy’ tasting fish. Flounder taste has a slightly sweeter undertone similar to that of sea bass and other groupers. The texture is very fine and delicate, though it lacks moistness and oil.

Flounder fish always look a little strange due to being known as a flatfish. They always seem to be unaware of being caught, which can delight even the most novice angler.

They live at the bottom of the ocean for most of their life, which makes sense seeing as they are flat shaped and like to dwell there.

What Does Flounder Taste Like? Quick Guide

You may have seen this fish on a restaurant menu and wondered what a flounder tastes like? They are a popular choice for many Americans, so it makes sense that you have become intrigued by their potential flavor and texture.

In this guide we shall take a quick look at what the flounder tastes like, the best way to pick a fresh looking flounder, and how to cook them whole.

What Is The Flavor Of A Flounder?

The overall fishy flavor of a flounder is mild. It has a streak of sweetness that runs through it that may remind you of the taste of sea bass, and other grouper (sea-salt) fish.

In fact, some of the fish which are similar in flavor include branzino, halibut, and tilapia.

The flounder has a really delicate and light texture which lacks both moisture and oil. However, while it is the perfect fish for those who do not like to eat oily food, the lack of moisture does not mean it is a dry fish.

When cooked right, the meat of the flounder is delicious and moist. However, you will want to make sure that you do not overcook it to avoid the flesh going too dry.

How Does The Flounder Flavor Vary?

Just like other fish, the final taste and appearance all comes down to the particular species of the flounder and its habitat.

For example, the Pacific Dover fish has a softer flesh and is often considered to be low quality. On the other hand, the yellowtail flounder is often sought after for its lean and firm meat that is also quite delicate.

The petrale sole is exactly the same too. They are often said to be some of the best types of flounders available to eat, alongside both the gray and lemon sole.

You will find that larger flounders have firmer flesh, while the smaller flounders have delicate type flesh. Which one you prefer also comes down to personal opinion. 

Flounder Flavor And Texture Summary

  • Fishy Flavor: Mild
  • Overall Flavor: Mild
  • Oil: Low
  • Texture: Delicate meat
  • Color When Cooked: White

What Are Flounder Substitutes?

If you have been to the grocery store, the fish market and the fishmonger and are struggling to find flounder, then there are some good substitutes to try.

These include a grouper (other sea-salt fish), catfish or a tilapia.

What Else Is A Flounder Known As?

There are many different names and varieties when it comes to the flounder. Here are just some of them:

  • California sole
  • Yellowtail flounder
  • Lemon sole
  • Summer flounder
  • Dab
  • Rock sole
  • Dover sole
  • Gray sole
  • Petrale sole
  • Winter flounder
  • Alaska flounder

What Flavors Does Flounder Pair Up With?

When it comes to fresh flounder, the trick is to keep the dish simple. This means not overseasoning it too. One way to do this is just by adding some pepper and salt, and maybe even some lemon juice to bring out the flavor.

However, while this is a great way to eat flounder midweek, maybe you are looking for more flavors to enjoy by the weekend. Here are some ingredients to think about when seasoning:

  • Tartare sauce
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan
  • Capers
  • Fennel
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Paprika

You may also want to pair the flounder with a delicious side dish too. Here are a few side dishes to think about:

  • Stuffed peppers (any color although red is the most common)
  • Couscous
  • Salad
  • Fries
  • Potato wedges
  • Risotto
  • Green beans
  • Hasselback potatoes

RELATED: What Are Shrimp? (Fish, Seafood, Or Shellfish?)

What Is The Best Way To Pick A Fresh Flounder?

What Is The Best Way To Pick A Fresh Flounder?

When choosing a founder, or any other type of fish, you will want to find one that is the freshest it can be. While you could just try and catch one yourself, it can be more convenient to buy it.

Here are some things to look for:

How The Flounder Looks

The way the flounder looks can tell you a lot about its freshness. Firstly, it should have no discoloration that is not natural to this type of fish. Instead, the skin of the flounder should be clean and shiny.

Their eyes are also a big tell tale sign of the freshness of a fish. They should not be gray and glazed over, or dull. 

Give the eyes a poke if you dare. They should bounce back. If they do not, then do not buy the fish. The fresher the flounder, the bouncier the eyes. 

Smell Of The Flounder

Whether the fish is wrapped in packaging or out in the open, give the flounder a smell. While it should smell like fish, it should not be so overwhelming that it puts you off.

If the flounder does smell very fishy, then it means it is not fresh and is instead old. When this is the case, put it back. 

Other Options

It can be difficult to source fresh flounder that is of good quality. If you happen to find flounder and notice that it is not fresh looking, then you could always try the frozen option.

When the flounder is frozen, it traps some of its freshness. It also means it will last a lot longer too and you can buy a few at a time. 

Buying flounder, or any fish, as a batch might even save you some money too. 

Flounder Nutrition Value: Per 3 Ounce

Protein21 g
Fat1 g
Saturated0 g
Monounsaturated0 g
Polyunsaturated1 g
Carbohydrate0 g
Sugar0 g
Fiber0 g
Vitamin B60.2 mg
Vitamin B122.1 mcg
Magnesium49.3 mg
Phosphorus246 mg
Selenium49.5 mcg

How Can I Store Flounder?

Proper storing of your food is essential to keep its taste and flavors intact, as does Flounder.

Generally, fish lasts for two days in the fridge, which is the most advisable time to cook before it goes bad.

However, there are still a few things you should keep in mind before storing it in the refrigerator.

Here are the steps to store a Flounder:

  • Buy a refrigerated flounder and make sure it’s not too old, or you will buy a lousy flounder.
  • Remove the plastic in which the Flounder was wrapped and start washing it under cold running water to remove the dirt or other impurities.
  • Once it is clean, start paper drying your Flounder.
  • Now take a pan and fill it with crust ice and place a cake rack on the ice.
  • Now put the Flounder on the rack. Place the Flounder in the refrigerator in the coldest part of the fridge. 

Can You Freeze Flounder?

Freezing is the best method to keep your Flounder fresh and last for a longer period. It is also the easiest way to store it.

If you store it properly, it may last up to six months. However, raw Flounder works best for a more extended period to stay fresh.

You may freeze the Flounder after cleaning it, wrapping it in the vapor-resistant paper. Then, label it and freeze it and use it whenever you want.

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How To Tell If Flounder Gone Bad?

If you are storing the Flounder to cook in the coming future, it becomes necessary to make sure it is good to eat.

Here are the few things that show your Flounder has gone bad:

  • The Flounder will start smelling sour and putrid.
  • The Flounder will lose its original color and will turn off color.
  • The fish will lose its firmness.
  • Its texture will turn slimy.

Can You Eat Flounder Raw?

All fishes are not raw edible; however, Flounder is among those fishes people love to consume raw. Although eating raw Flounder is not advised.

Raw or undercooked Flounder can result in foodborne illness. It may lead to vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. 

Do Flounders Have Worms?

Roundworms are the most common worms found in saltwater fishes, including Flounders.

These worms are tiny and can’t be seen with the naked eye. However, there are significantly fewer chances of getting infected with these worms.

Still, cleaning these worms is always a good and healthy choice. These worms are typically found in the intestine and abdominal part.

How Do You Clean Flounder For Eating?

Most people who enjoy eating Flounder will clean the fish before cooking it.

The best way to clean a flounder is to start by removing the head and fins. Then, peel off the flesh from the bones.

It’s best first to remove the head, then remove the guts. 

To clean the body, scrape away the slime on the top and bottom of the fish. Using a lemon and salt mixture is best to wash off the fish. 

After that, pat dry with paper towels, and your Flounder is ready to cook.

Are Flounder Poisonous To Eat? – Dangers Of Eating

The most dangerous thing about Flounder is not the fish itself but the potential toxins that can accumulate in its flesh. 

A chemical called microcystin can be found in some species of fish, including Flounder.

The Atlantic flounder have a dangerous venom that can cause symptoms such as vomiting, paralysis, and death.

Can You Eat A Whole Flounder?

Yes, you can eat a whole flounder fish, though the fun part is sharing it with somebody else. Once the flounder is cooked, all you need to do is use a fork to peel away the skin.

If cooked right, it will peel away easily. You can then eat the meat underneath. Once finished eating one side, turn the fish over and eat the rest. 

Easy Way To Cook A Flounder

It is really easy to cook a flounder ready for dinner. In fact, one of the most straightforward ways is by baking the fish. 

Not only does it keep the fish moist and not dry, but the cooked fish will be delicious and tender. Here is how to do it in 10 minutes and serve 4 people.

What You Need

  • Two large flounders
  • 4 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • Optional – lemon wedge when served

How To Bake Flounder

  1. Preheat the oven to 355 degrees Fahrenheit (or 180 degrees celsius).
  1. Put the flounders onto a chopping board and using a brush apply olive oil to the top of the fish. Do the same with the other flounder. 
  1. Evenly sprinkle the onion and garlic over the fish, and then top with parsley. 
  1. Once you are happy, wrap each of the flounders with baking paper and place each fish onto the oven tray. Using baking paper will help to keep the flesh moist.
  1. Bake the fish for around 15 to 20 minutes. Check on the fish and remove once the meat is both white and moist. However, the overall cooking time all depends on the size of the flounder.
  1. Once the flounder has been baked, remove it from the oven to serve immediately. You can serve a slice of lemon alongside it too. 

Flounders: Size Does Matter

If you are looking to filet a small flounder, then opt for a bigger flounder instead. If you try to filet a small sized flounder, then you will end up with thin pieces of fish that will dry out very quickly when cooking.

You need to think about the thickness of the flounder too. A smaller flounder is better to grill and bake, while a thicker flounder is often best broiled. Both can be stuffed too. 

Quick Table: Delicious Flounder Recipes

RecipeCaloriePreparation Time
Blackened Flounder Tacos661 Per Serving30 Minutes
Fried Flounder822 Per Serving1 Hour 40 Minutes
Blackened Flounder with Pineapple Salsa393 Per Serving50 minutes

1. Blackened Flounder Tacos

Tacos are pretty famous these days among people worldwide. These blackened flounder tacos recipes will treat the people at your dinner table.

The generously tortilla-wrapped tacos with the topping of avocado cilantro sauce taste delicious. 

Children and adults love the delicious fish tacos, and because of the slaw-like red cabbage, green cabbage, onion, cilantro, and lime, it turns out to be a healthy choice.

These tacos taste yummy with the mentioned recipe; however, if you like, you may try swapping the fish with your choice of fish or do experiments with the spice and enjoy.

Calories: 661 Per Serving

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

RELATED: 25 Mexican Seafood Recipes With Balanced And Effortless Style!

2. Fried Flounder

In the era of junk foods, fried Flounder is an excellent choice with the blend of taste and health in one dish.

Fried Flounder is a healthy swap to fries made with potatoes. 

The flavor of Flounder is mild and sweet, with a soft, delicate texture. It is a lean and firm fish. For extra flavor, serve this Fried Flounder with homemade tarter sauce.

The fried Flounder takes more than one and a half hours, but it is worth the effort. Each piece of Flounder takes 3 – 5 minutes to turn brown with a crispy texture.

Calories: 822 Per Serving

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

3. Blackened Flounder With Pineapple Salsa

If you are a fan of Mexican and American cuisine, you must be familiar with the popularity of Salsa in the summer. Here is another choice for you to make an addition to your Salsa options.

It is one of the best choices to opt for when you need a dish with a tangy flavor in a delicious way.

The seasoning of cumin, oregano paprika, pepper, salt, and other ingredients will be ready to grill on low, medium heat.

Along with pineapple salsa, the dish came out as a perfect dish and looked tremendously yummy.

Calories: 393 Per Serving

Preparation Time: 50 minutes

Final Thoughts

While flounder does not look attractive compared to other fish available, it should not be something that will stop you from trying it. 

The delicate and mild flavor with a sweet undertone is perfect for those who struggle to eat fishy tasting fish. It lacks oil which some may prefer, and it is very light to consume. This means you will not feel too full after eating it. 

You might find that it is served whole if you choose to eat it at a restaurant. Fortunately it is really easy to eat. However, because it will have the bones still intact, it will not be a great choice for a child.

So, before you avoid eating flounder, give it a try. You might just really enjoy it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is Better, Cod Or Flounder?

Several flavors can accompany Flounder, including sweet, salty, and savory. One of Flounder’s favorite dishes is fish piccata with lemon and capers over pasta. If cod were to face off against Flounder, cod would have a slight advantage because you can learn how to cook cod fillets more easily than flounder filets.

What Fish Is Flounder Similar To?

There is a lot of similarity between Halibut and Flounder in taste. Seeing their close relationship, it’s not surprising. Flounder tends to be flaky and delicate, while Halibut is firm and meaty. Additionally, Halibut has a low-fat content.

What Taste Better Flounder Or Halibut?

Flounder and Halibut have similar tastes, but they’re not the same. These two don’t taste like fish but have a mild and sweet flavor. However, they have some differences in their sizes which causes a distinction in the flavors.

3 Tasty Flounder Taste Recipes

Explore 3 delicate quick and easy flounder recipes to cook for weeknight dinners. Try Now


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith