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).