Saturday, April 11, 2009

Monterey Bay Sand Dabs

I must admit after moving to Monterey I was curious about seeing Sand Dabs on menus at nearly every restaurant we visited. A sand dab, after all, sounds less than appetizing. It more conjures up thoughts of gritty shellfish than a mildly flavored, delicate fish.

Sand dabs are flatfish, like flounder, and are indigenous to the Pacific Ocean. They're very popular along the California coast and are considered a delicacy. They're not as popular elsewhere, though after trying them I can only assume it's because they're not available everywhere.

Last night I finally decided to try them out after being convinced by my local fishmonger. Unfortunately the only way I could get them was pre-breaded, but after a little fry in some olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon I'm thinking breaded may be the way to go when preparing sand dabs.

I really can't recommend them enough if you happen to be on the California coastline. They couldn't be simpler to prepare and they're so fresh you might as well be catching them yourself (obviously dependent upon where you buy them).


A Feast for the Eyes said...

I love sand dabs, especially the way that you prepared it. The Sandbar & Grill, on the Monterey Pier, serves fabulous sand dabs!

Sweet Bird's MiL said...

What a gorgeous plate! Ok, I'm in. I'll look forward to sand dab delicacies when I visit in July!

Jude said...

Never heard of sand dabs before.. I thought it was the actual name of the recipe because the crust looks crisp and sandy.

The Duo Dishes said...

Sand dabs are new to us too. We learned something today.

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I have been wanted some food like these to eat in my home with my friends, I love to eat fish and meat in the restaurants.