In general, fish naming is a mess, and fish are often mislabeled. But the term turbot is particularly misleading as there are several kinds of fish that go by that name.

Kosher turbots may include fish known as “Pacific turbots” (Pleuronichthys species), “Curlfin turbots” or sole (Pleuronichthys decurrens), “Diamond turbots” (Hypsopsetta guttulata), and “Greenland turbots” or halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides).

Conversely “European turbots” (Scophthalmus maximus or Psetta maximus) are not kosher, and are found all over the world, not just in Europe.

So what are you to do?

If you catch what you believe to be a turbot (or buy one whole) and you see the fins and scales, cook or fry it in your kosher kitchen and enjoy. The same applies if you pick up some fish labeled “turbot” at a certified kosher fish shop or in a sealed package bearing kosher certification.

If you are purchasing fresh fish from a non-kosher establishment, ask to see the skin still on the fish to make sure there are actual scales, and then ask the store employee to clean the knife well and cut your fish on a fresh sheet of paper. You should then carefully wash the part of the fish that has been cut in water that is no warmer than room temperature.

Unlike meat or fowl, fish does not have to be slaughtered or salted, so nothing more must be done to make your fish kosher.

Hearty appetite!