This righteye flounder is caught in the North Atlantic from North
Carolina north around the southern tip of Greenland and around the
European coasts to northern Spain, staying mostly below the Arctic
Circle. It is often sold in Southern California as "Rex Sole", which
it clearly isn't - Rex Sole has a very long pectoral fin.
They can grow to almost 24 inches and 5-1/2 pounds, but the photo
specimen was 13-3/4 inches long and weighed 10 ounces, typical in the
markets here - though fish up to 1 pound are frequently seen. The
population is not considered threatened, Red List status NE
Fillet half side
Cleaned - easy!
Removing fin rays
The flesh of Gray Sole is white, tender, fine grained and mild. This fish is an excellent substitute for the once common Sanddab, a lefteye flounder that lives in shallower water, but is now scarce in markets due to fishery regulations aimed at protecting rockfish.
Because it's inconvenient to fillet small fish, gray sole is usually sold either whole or "pan ready" (head, innards, tail and fins removed). Our Pan Ready Method covers making fish "pan ready" and cooking them in that form.
For some uses a pan ready fish is fine if properly handled, but for other recipes a pan ready fish just won't work - it'll fill the food with hundreds of tiny bones. for these uses you must fillet. Gray Sole isn't difficult to fillet but get the biggest fish you can to make it easier - Fillet Method.
A 1 pound fish will yield just over 6-1/2 oz of fillet (40%). A 10 ounce fish will yield just over 4 ounces (40%). Don't attempt to skin fillets, you'll likely break them up. The skin is very thin and normally left on. If you pan fry a fillet "skin-on" the skin will shrink a little but then relax as it cooks.
The head and bones and fins make a moderate flavored stock with a somewhat "oceany" flavor and aroma. There's quite a bit of oil which should be removed using your gravy separator.