Turbot Fish in Singapore: A Guide to Where to Find and How to Cook It

If you’re a seafood lover in Singapore, you may have heard of the turbot fish. This flatfish is considered one of the best in the world, and it’s highly prized for its firm, white flesh and mild, almost sweet flavor. In fact, some chefs consider the turbot the “Champagne of the flat fish, truffle of the deep!”

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While not as common as other types of fish in Singapore, you can still find turbot in some seafood markets and restaurants. It’s often served in high-end establishments, where chefs prepare it in a variety of ways, from baking and grilling to poaching and pan-searing. Some chefs even age the turbot, which can intensify its flavor and texture. If you’re lucky enough to come across live turbot fish, you can enjoy it at home by steaming or pan-frying it with some simple seasonings.

Understanding Turbot Fish

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Turbot is a type of flatfish that is highly prized for its delicate flavor and firm, flaky texture. It is a large, white fish that is often served as a centerpiece at special occasions or fine dining restaurants.

When selecting turbot, it is important to choose fresh, live seafood. Look for fish that have clear eyes, bright red gills, and a firm texture. The flesh should be translucent and have a mild, sweet scent.

Turbot is a versatile fish that can be prepared in a variety of ways, including baking, roasting, grilling, and frying. It is often served with lemon and herbs, which complement its delicate flavor.

To cook turbot, it is important to use the right techniques. Baking or roasting the fish whole is one of the best ways to bring out its flavor. Salt can be used to seal in moisture, making the fish succulent but not salty.

Overall, turbot is a delicious and highly sought-after fish that is perfect for special occasions or fine dining experiences. With the right preparation and cooking techniques, you can enjoy the delicate flavor and firm texture of this prized flatfish.

Turbot Fish in Different Cuisines

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Turbot fish is a delicacy that is enjoyed in various cuisines across the world. Each culture has its unique way of preparing and serving this delicious fish.

In Korea, Turbot fish is often served raw as sashimi or lightly grilled. The fish is sliced thinly and served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. The Korean way of serving Turbot fish highlights the delicate flavor and texture of the fish.

In France, Turbot fish is often prepared with butter and served with a creamy sauce. The fish is usually baked or roasted whole to preserve its flavor. The French also serve Turbot fish with vegetables such as asparagus, artichokes, and mushrooms.

In Sri Lankan cuisine, Turbot fish is often used in curries. The fish is cooked in a spicy coconut milk sauce with curry leaves, chili, and other spices. The Sri Lankan way of cooking Turbot fish adds a unique flavor to the fish and makes it a popular dish in the country.

No matter how you choose to prepare and serve Turbot fish, it is a delicious and highly sought-after dish that is enjoyed by many people around the world.

Cooking Techniques for Turbot Fish

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Turbot is a versatile fish that can be cooked using various methods. Whether you prefer wet heat cooking methods like steaming, poaching, or dry heat methods like grilling, baking, or roasting, turbot can be cooked to perfection using any of these techniques.


Pan-searing is a popular technique for cooking turbot fillets. This method involves quickly searing the turbot fillets in a hot pan with some oil or butter, resulting in a crispy exterior and a moist interior.


Turbot can be grilled whole or in fillets, adding a smoky char that complements its natural taste. Grilling is an excellent way to cook turbot, as it retains the fish’s natural flavor and texture.


Baking fish allows you to get the satisfying crunch of fried fish without all the fat. Baked turbot can be prepared with various sauces, herbs, and seasonings, making it a versatile and healthy meal option.


Roasting turbot whole with the bones is always preferable as it adds flavor to the fish. Salt seals in moisture, making it an excellent way to roast turbot – making the fish succulent but not salty.


Poaching is a gentle cooking technique that involves cooking the fish in a flavorful liquid. This method is ideal for delicate fish like turbot, as it ensures that the fish remains moist and tender.

In conclusion, turbot fish can be cooked using various techniques, including pan-searing, grilling, baking, roasting, and poaching. Each method has its unique benefits and can be used to prepare delicious and healthy meals.

Preparing Turbot Fish

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Before cooking turbot fish, it is important to prepare it properly. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Make sure the turbot is gutted and scaled, with the gills removed. If you have a whole turbot, you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you.

  2. Use a sharp knife to remove any remaining scales and to make a few shallow cuts on both sides of the fish. This will help the fish cook evenly and allow any seasoning to penetrate the flesh.

  3. If your turbot is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Do not defrost it at room temperature as this can cause bacteria to grow.

  4. Once the turbot is defrosted, rinse it under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.

  5. Depending on your recipe, you may want to fillet the turbot or cook it whole. If you are cooking it whole, you can stuff the cavity with herbs or lemon slices for added flavor.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your turbot fish is ready to be cooked to perfection.

Taste and Texture of Turbot Fish

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Turbot is a highly sought-after flatfish, known for its delicate flavor and firm, flaky texture. The taste of turbot is often described as sweet, subtle, and slightly nutty, with a mild flavor that is not overpowering. The texture of turbot is smooth and velvety, with a firm, yet tender, flesh that is succulent and moist.

When cooked, turbot retains its moisture well, making it a chef’s dream. It is a versatile fish that can be prepared in a variety of ways, including grilling, baking, poaching, and steaming. Turbot is often paired with simple ingredients, such as lemon, herbs, and butter, to enhance its natural flavor.

The flavor and texture of turbot make it an excellent choice for a range of dishes, from simple grilled fillets to more complex preparations, such as turbot en papillote. Whether you prefer your fish mild and delicate or rich and succulent, turbot is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Overall, turbot is a highly prized fish that is well worth seeking out. Its delicate flavor and smooth texture make it a favorite among seafood lovers, and its versatility in the kitchen makes it a popular choice for chefs around the world.

Health Benefits of Turbot Fish

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Turbot fish is a delicious and nutritious seafood that can provide several health benefits. Here are some of the main benefits of incorporating turbot fish into your diet:

Rich in Protein

Turbot fish is an excellent source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in your body. A 3-ounce serving of turbot fish contains about 18 grams of protein, making it a great choice for athletes and those looking to build muscle.

Supports Heart Health

Turbot fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and lower the risk of heart disease. Omega-3s can also help lower triglyceride levels and improve cholesterol levels.

Boosts Immunity

Turbot fish is loaded with vitamins and minerals that can help boost your immune system. It contains vitamins B3 and B12, which are important for energy production and cell growth, as well as minerals like magnesium and selenium, which are essential for a healthy immune system.

Healthy Ways to Cook Turbot Fish

To get the most health benefits from turbot fish, it’s important to prepare it in a healthy way. Baking or grilling turbot fish is a great way to cook it without adding extra fat or calories. You can also try poaching or steaming turbot fish for a healthy and flavorful meal.

In conclusion, turbot fish is a delicious and nutritious seafood that can provide several health benefits. Incorporating this fish into your diet can help support heart health, boost immunity, and provide your body with essential nutrients like protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Turbot Fish in Singaporean Cuisine

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Turbot fish is considered one of the most luxurious and highly prized fish in Singaporean cuisine. It is known for its firm texture and mild, sweet flavor that is not too fishy. This makes it a perfect ingredient for a wide range of dishes, from traditional Chinese cuisine to modern Western fusion.

One popular way to prepare turbot fish in Singapore is to bake or roast it whole with the bones, as this adds flavor to the fish. Salt is used to seal in moisture, resulting in a succulent and flavorful dish. Turbot fillets are also commonly used in Singaporean cuisine, as they are versatile and easy to cook.

Turbot fish is often paired with other seafood, such as live tiger prawns, Alaskan king crab, or Boston lobster, to create a luxurious seafood platter. It is also commonly used in noodle dishes such as bee hoon, or in pasta dishes for a fusion twist.

When it comes to spices and flavors, black pepper crab and salted egg yolk crab are popular choices to pair with turbot fish. These dishes are known for their bold and spicy flavors, which complement the mild taste of the turbot fish.

Overall, turbot fish is a prized ingredient in Singaporean cuisine, prized for its delicate flavor and versatility in a wide range of dishes. Whether you prefer traditional Chinese cuisine or modern Western fusion, turbot fish is a must-try ingredient for any seafood lover.

Turbot Fish Recipes

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If you’re looking to cook turbot fish, there are many recipes to choose from. Turbot is a versatile fish that can be prepared in a variety of ways, including baking, roasting, and poaching. Here are a few recipes to get you started:

Baked Turbot with Vegetables

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 1 whole turbot, cleaned and scaled
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

To prepare:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Season the turbot with salt and pepper, then place it in a baking dish.
  3. Arrange the lemon, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic around the fish.
  4. Pour the white wine and chicken broth over the fish and vegetables.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.

Turbot with Sage and Dashi Broth

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 4 turbot fillets
  • 2 cups dashi broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

To prepare:

  1. Season the turbot fillets with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the turbot fillets and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  4. Remove the fillets from the skillet and set aside.
  5. Add the dashi broth to the skillet and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the sage and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Pour the broth over the turbot fillets and serve.

Salted and Hung Turbot

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 1 whole turbot, cleaned and scaled
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar

To prepare:

  1. Mix the salt and sugar together in a bowl.
  2. Rub the mixture all over the turbot, making sure to cover it completely.
  3. Place the turbot on a wire rack and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  4. After 24 hours, remove the turbot from the refrigerator and rinse off the salt and sugar mixture.
  5. Hang the turbot in a cool, dry place for 2-3 days, until it is firm and slightly dried out.
  6. Slice the turbot thinly and serve with crackers or bread.

Ageing Process for Turbot

Turbot can also be aged like other fish, which can enhance its flavor and texture. To age turbot, you’ll need to:

  1. Clean and scale the turbot.
  2. Wrap the turbot in cheesecloth and place it in a refrigerator set to 40°F.
  3. Let the turbot age for 7-10 days, checking it daily to make sure it is not spoiling.
  4. After 7-10 days, remove the turbot from the cheesecloth and prepare it as desired.

These are just a few recipes to get you started with cooking turbot fish. Whether you prefer your turbot baked, poached, or aged, there are many ways to enjoy this delicious fish.

How to Know When Turbot is Cooked

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Cooking turbot can be a little tricky, but with a few tips, you can ensure that your fish is cooked perfectly every time. One of the easiest ways to know when turbot is cooked is to insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the flesh. If it’s cooked through, the knife will come out hot to the touch. The flesh should also feel springy.

Another way to check if your turbot is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the fish, and if it reads 145°F, your turbot is done.

It’s important to note that the cooking time for turbot will vary depending on the method you use. If you’re baking or roasting turbot whole, it’s one of the best – if not the best – way of cooking this deluxe fish. You should bake it for around 20-25 minutes per pound at 400°F.

Grilling turbot is another great option. You can grill it whole or in fillets, adding a smoky char that complements its natural taste. It’s best to grill turbot over medium-high heat for around 6-8 minutes per side.

Poaching turbot in a flavorful broth is another great way to cook it. This method keeps the fish moist and brings out its delicate flavors. To poach turbot, heat a flavorful broth in a large pan, and add the fish. Simmer for around 10-12 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.

In summary, there are a few ways to know when turbot is cooked, including checking the thickest part of the flesh with a knife or using a meat thermometer. The cooking time will vary depending on the method you use, but baking, grilling, and poaching are all great options.

Turbot Fish in Singapore’s Restaurants

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If you’re a seafood lover, you’ll be pleased to know that turbot is a popular fish in Singaporean restaurants. This flatfish is known for its firm, white flesh and delicate flavor, making it a favorite among chefs and diners alike.

Many restaurants in Singapore serve turbot fish, including La Dame de Pic at Raffles Hotel. This restaurant serves turbot fish cooked meunière style, which involves a light dusting of flour before cooking in a hot skillet. The result is a perfectly cooked fish with a crispy exterior and tender interior.

Other restaurants that serve turbot fish in Singapore include:

  • Odette
  • Corner House
  • Burnt Ends
  • Les Amis

If you’re not in the mood to dine out, you can also order turbot fish for delivery from various seafood suppliers in Singapore. One such supplier is Evergreen Seafood, which offers live turbot fish for online delivery.

When it comes to pairing turbot fish with wine, many chefs recommend vin jaune, a type of wine from the Jura region of France. This wine has a nutty and savory flavor that complements the delicate flavor of turbot fish.

Overall, turbot fish is a popular and delicious option for seafood lovers in Singapore. Whether you dine out or order in, you’re sure to enjoy this flavorful and versatile fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are some common types of fish found in Singapore?

Singapore is known for its wide variety of seafood. Some of the common types of fish found in Singapore include pomfret, sea bass, grouper, red snapper, and mackerel.

What are some of the most expensive fish to eat in Singapore?

Some of the most expensive fish to eat in Singapore include abalone, lobster, and Alaskan king crab. These seafood delicacies can be found at high-end restaurants and seafood markets.

What are some popular seafood delivery options in Singapore?

There are many popular seafood delivery options in Singapore, including Evergreen Seafood, Dishthefish, and Kuhlbarra. These delivery services offer fresh and high-quality seafood right to your doorstep.

What is the Chinese name for turbot fish?

The Chinese name for turbot fish is “鲽鱼” (dié yú).

How does turbot fish taste compared to other types of fish?

Turbot fish has a delicate and mild flavor, with a slightly sweet and nutty taste. Its texture is firm and meaty, making it a popular choice for grilling, steaming, and poaching.

What are some popular dishes that use turbot fish in Singapore?

Turbot fish is a popular ingredient in many Singaporean dishes, including Teochew-style steamed fish, Hong Kong-style steamed fish, and fish soup. It is also commonly served as a whole fish, with the head and tail intact, as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.

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