Thursday, 21 April 2011

Dab with Anchovy and Caper Butter

Dab is a small flat fish that until recently a lot of people won’t have heard of. Which is odd considering it’s one of the most commonly found fish in British coastal waters.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver have quite rightly been touting them as a sustainable alternative to the more commonly bought Cod and Haddock. When you consider the price I definitely think it’s one we should all be eating more of.

Only problem is no one really sells them and I’ve only just found some in my local supermarket. It’s a shame really as it’s already a good few months since the fishfight hit our screens.

Unless people start doing fun and interesting things with them public awareness will be on the wane. Hopefully though demand will pick up and we’ll see a bit more of this tasty little fish!

Like most white flat fish it’s loves the heat of a grill or oven and is best served on the bone. I’ve trimmed and descaled my Dabs though, simply taking off the fins with kitchen scissors and then removing the heads and guts with a knife.

Cooking them couldn’t be easier really, I throw mine in a hot oven at 250c for about 10 minutes with a little olive oil and a squeeze of Lemon. You’ll know when they are cooked as the flesh comes away from the bone with the gentlest of touches.

To make your Anchovy and Caper butter simply mix a tin of anchovies, a handful of capers and a half a block of butter together in the blender. Serve on top of your fish and let it’s richness melt down onto the plate.

This works well with almost all fish but especially so with Dab, Sole and Plaice. The salty anchovies and the tang of the capers just lift the gentle fish to another level and it's well worth a try. Serve with fresh vegetables and enjoy!


  1. The dab sounds lovely but I have a craving to eat the anchovy and caper butter on a plate of spaghetti.

  2. It works on a lot of things, you could even use it on STEAK!