Sanddabs, Pacific

Sanddab is a type of flatfish, so named because both of its eyes are on one side of its head, giving it the appearance it is lying face side up. Flounders, sole, turbot, and halibut are other types of commonly eaten flatfish. Sanddabs are a smaller flatfish, found along the American West Coast.

Sanddabs sold to consumers are generally wild caught, not farmed. Wild populations of sanddabs are not depleted, but the trawling method used to catch them can cause a negative impact on the ocean floor. However, flatfish often live in sandy or muddy-bottomed areas, habitat that is less sensitive to trawling than rocky or reef areas. Due to their fast growth and short lifespan, they are considered one of the species of flatfish most resilient to fishing.

Sanddabs have a mild taste but are noted for their sweet and moist flesh. Weighing in at less than a pound, they are too small to fillet, so they are best cooked whole (the head and fins may be removed) by frying or sautéing.