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Plaice - North German delicacy

Status: 09.03.2021 7:06 p.m.

Because of its tender and low-fat white meat, plaice is very popular as an edible fish. It tastes particularly good fried, for example in the Finkenwerder style with bacon.

Plaice are flatfish and are native to the north-east Atlantic, the North and Baltic Seas, as well as the Mediterranean and Black Seas. They live on the sea floor, which they can adapt to in color. The diet of the animals, also known as golden butter, consists mainly of bristle worms, crabs, mussels and snails.

Easily digestible and very tender

With their typical flat-round shape and the small reddish spots, clods are almost unmistakable.

The plaice is very popular as a food fish because of its tender and low-fat white meat. It also contains a lot of protein and vitamins and is particularly easy to digest. Plaice is often fried, but it can also be baked, grilled or steamed, although the very soft meat disintegrates quickly. The meat of the "Maischolle" tastes particularly tender. It is caught young in spring.

Its delicious taste makes plaice the most frequently caught flatfish - every year fishermen around the world bring 100,000 to 120,000 tons of animals out of the sea. Because plaice also grow slowly and mature late, there is a great risk of overfishing. In the North Sea, their population is currently considered good.

Flounder, dab, brill: relatives of the plaice

If you buy your fish directly from the fisherman on the coast, you will also get to know the close relatives of the plaice: In addition to flounders (dark gray, with a rough callus), dabs (elongated shape, gray, transparent belly) or the brill (speckled gray) often migrate there ) in the shopping bags. There are also hybrids among the flatfish species - for example, red-dotted specimens with a rough callous - crosses between flounder and plaice - are not uncommon.

Hamburg specialty: Finkenwerder plaice

The taste of bacon goes perfectly with the mild meat of the plaice.

A popular culinary specialty from Hamburg is the Finkenwerder plaice. It comes from the district of the same name south of the Elbe, which used to be a fishing village. For the classic preparation, the fish is filled with a stick of bacon, onions and crabs and then baked in the oven. Today, restaurants Scholle Finkenwerder Art mostly serve fried, with bacon and onions poured over them before serving.

Plaice also tastes smoked and pickled

A real delicacy - unfortunately only available in a few smokehouses on the coast - are hot-smoked plaice. Refined with beechwood aroma, the tender, juicy meat is a real treat on fresh black bread or with fried potatoes. Anyone who buys several smaller flatfish from the fisherman or has caught them while fishing can also pickle them after frying - just as you know it from the preparation of herrings. Tip: The marinade gets a fruity note with raspberry vinegar. The fish can be kept in the refrigerator for at least a week.

Dreught fish for lovers

Another specialty from the Elbe island of Finkenwerder has been forgotten: the dreught fish or dry clod. These are flatfish that are salted and air-dried. For further processing in the kitchen, the clods are then watered - like clipfish or stockfish - with repeated fluid changes. Lovers of this specialty also eat it peeled and cut into strips raw, which is reminiscent of raw ham in taste.

Production mostly for personal use

The dried fish is only produced by a few locals for their own use. On the west coast of Denmark, however, dried flatfish can still often be found in fish shops.

Recipe: Finkenwerder bacon plaice

Heinz Wehmann prepares the plaice with foamed butter and crispy bacon slices. This is best served with new potatoes and a small salad. more

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My afternoon | 03/10/2021 | 4:20 pm