Petrale Sole – which is not actually a Sole at all, but a Flounder – is considered to be the most flavorful and desirable of Pacific Flounders. And although other fish may compare with Petrale Sole is as good as it gets, according to California chefs. Highly prized for its mild, delicately nutty, sweet flavor with small, firm flakes, Petrale Sole can be prepared in almost any manner including sautéing, broiling, grilling and poaching. Like other Flatfish, it is a very soft, moist fish that is vulnerable to mushiness if cooked too long. If this is your first time with Petrale Sole, try one of these recipes: Petrale Sole in Herb-Butter Sauce, Broiled Petrale Sole with Lemon, Mustard & Thyme.
Petrale Sole (also known as California sole), are actually right-eyed flounders rather than true soles. That means that as they grow up their left eye wanders across until both eyes are on the right side of their body. Petrale Sole are common all along the U.S. West Coast, typically on the outer continental shelf in waters of 330 to 500 feet depth. Like all flatfishes, they are well-adapted to live on or near the sea floor.
They are a fast-growing and fast-maturing species, that can reach up to 2 feet in length. Commercially-caught Petrale Sole tends to be between 2-3 lbs. They can live to be 35 years old, although the majority don’t live past 17 years of age. They prey on shrimp and other crustaceans, as well as krill, pelagic fishes, brittle stars, and even juvenile Petrale Sole. Petrale Sole from California, Oregon and Washington have been certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) since 2014. To learn more go to NOAA FishWatch.
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