Plaice: What kind of fish is it? And how to cook it?

From frying it, grilling it to cooking it in the oven

Plaice is a popular flatfish that is very tasty and not greasy. It’s also a fish that’s not pricey and it’s easy to cook. Read more about this delicious fish.

Scholfilet uit de oven met chermoula
Oven baked plaice with chermoula and couscous

Chapter 1

Wat voor vis is schol?

The plaice, like the halibut, belongs to the flatfish family and is related to the sole, dab and the flounder. It’s easy to recognize by its orange dotted skin. By adapting its color to the environment, the plaice can make itself invisible to prey and enemies.

Plaice fillet

They have a rather small head and jaws. Due to its asymmetrical body structure, the fish cannot swim upright. Unlike regular fish, they move their flattened bodies sideways, in an undulating motion, across the seabed. This movement method is very energy efficient, because there is hardly any current on the seabed.

What makes plaice so special is that it has two right eyes that are on one side of the head. This allows it to see in three dimensions. In the first weeks of its life, a young plaice looks like a normal fish. The body is round and as it grows it flattens and the left eye shifts to the right side of its skull.

Plaice live on molluscs, starfish and worms from the seabed. Due to their body shape, they can easily hide in the sandy seabed. Here they wait until dusk to go hunting.

This fish is best eaten during the plaice season, which runs from May to November. Then they are the tastiest. During this period the plaice are well fed and are meaty and tasty.

Chapter 2

Where does the fish come from?

Plaice are mainly found in the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the western part of the Mediterranean Sea. They occur close to the coast and on the seabed.

Plaice spawn from January to April in fairly shallow water in the North Sea. The fertilized eggs are carried by the sea current towards the coast.

In the winter, the young fish migrate to the North Sea. After the winter they return to their place of origin, the Wadden Sea or the Oosterschelde.

Plaice are caught using pulse trawls. Light current pulses startle the fish, causing them to emerge from the seabed and swim into the net. With this fishing method there is hardly any bycatch. There’s a square escape hatch in the net where the smaller fish can swim out of the net.

Another advantage of pulse fishing is that the plaice are not suddenly taken out of the water. As a result, there is no stress for the fish and they don’t hurt themselves. The fish look perfect when they come out of the water and have a nice slime coating that is undamaged.

You can buy fresh plaice from the fishmonger, but you can also buy it frozen in the supermarket.

Chapter 3

How does plaice taste?

Plaice, like pike-perch, is a lean white fish and has a fairly neutral flavor.

Chapter 4

Is plaice healthy?

Plaice contains unsaturated fats that protect us against cardiovascular disease. Fat is an important fuel for your body that also ensures that you also get vitamins A, D and E.

Vitamin A ensures, among other things, healthy skin and proper functioning of the eyes and the immune system.

Vitamin D provides strong bones and teeth and ensures proper functioning of the muscles and the immune system.

Vitamin E works as an antioxidant and ensures the metabolism in the cell.

Chapter 5

Which wine goes with it?

Plaice pairs very well with a mild Sauvignon Blanc, a classic Muscadet, Picpoul or Chablis, or a dry Riesling or Weissburgunder. You can also opt for fresh Pinot Grigio or Custoza.

Chapter 6

How to cook plaice?

You can cook this fish in different ways: frying, poaching, deep-frying or in the oven. The fish combines well with butter, parsley, sage, lemon, mushrooms, cranberries and potatoes.

Fresh plaice has a salty smell and doesn’t smell bad. It’s then somewhat slimy with bright orange dots.

Be patient when you’re cooking plaice fillet. Wait until it comes off the pan, because then it’s done. Do not put the fillets in the pan against each other, because then they will stick together and will not come loose.

You can count on 125 grams of plaice fillets per person, or you can of course also cook a whole plaice.

How to eat?

You eat plaice neatly by carefully cutting the fried fish lengthwise down to the bone. If you then put the knife in the cut, you can slide the fish meat off the bone from the center to the outsides.

How to clean?

If you buy fresh plaice from the fishmonger, you can ask them to clean it for you or you can easily do it yourself.

  • Cut off the head of the fish.
  • Then you remove the organs from its belly.
  • Cut off the fins with kitchen scissors.
  • Rinse the plaice, especially the belly area, under running water.
  • Also remove the blood vein that is against the bone. This has a bitter taste.
  • Place the fish in a colander and let it drain well.
  • Pat the fish dry with some kitchen paper. Don’t forget to dry the inside as well.


Plaice can be filleted very quickly and easily:

  • Place the fish on a cutting board.
  • Cut with your knife on the line that runs from the head to the tail, up to the spine.
  • Put your knife in the cut and cut the fillet loose over the bone.
  • Repeat these steps and remove 4 fillets from the fish.

You can skin the plaice like this:

  • Place the fillet skin-side down on the cutting board.
  • Loosen the skin a little so you can hold it.
  • Then place the knife at an angle between the skin and the meat and pull the skin loose with your other hand, while making a small cutting movement with the knife.

Plaice can be cooked as fillets or whole fish in various ways, such as frying, grilling on the barbecue and in the oven.

Frying it in a pan

If you want to fry plaice fillet, you do this at a high temperature.

  1. Pat the fillets dry with some kitchen paper.
  2. Season them with some salt and pepper.
  3. Heat some oil in a frying pan.
  4. Coat the plaice fillets with some flour.
  5. Fry them for 5 to 6 minutes until golden brown in color.

In the oven

If you are going to cook plaice fillet in the oven, do so at a medium temperature.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Pat the plaice fillets dry with some kitchen paper.
  3. Place the fish in a greased baking dish.
  4. Season the fillets with some salt and pepper.
  5. Leave the fish in the oven for 15 minutes to cook.

Grilling on the barbecue

If you want to cook a whole plaice on the barbecue, do so at a moderate temperature.

  1. Preheat the barbecue to a temperature between 175 and 230°C.
  2. Pat the fish dry with some kitchen paper.
  3. Rub the fish with some olive oil.
  4. Season it with some salt and pepper.
  5. Place the whole fish skin-side down on the barbecue.
  6. Cover the fish with a lid and grill over direct heat for 6 to 10 minutes.

Chapter 7

Recipe: Oven-baked plaice fillet with chermoula and couscous

Geen beoordelingen

Oven-baked plaice fillet with chermoula and couscous

Moroccan plaice from the oven with couscous. Chermoula is a delicious, spicy sauce.
Prep time10 minutes
Cooking time15 minutes
Servings: 4 persons
Author: Cultiviz


  • 4 plaice fillets without skin (200 g each)

For the chermoula

  • 20 gr parsley leaves finely chopped
  • 10 g coriander finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger grated
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika spicy
  • 1 tsp black pepper ground
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 lemons Juice
  • 200 ml olive oil extra virgin
  • 3 tbsp water

For the couscous

  • 200 g couscous
  • olive oil
  • 200 g green asparagus tips
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp feta


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.


  • Place all ingredients in a food processor. Grind everything into a coarse sauce. Not too smooth.


  • Pat the plaice fillets dry with some kitchen paper.
  • Make 4 packages of aluminum foil in which the plaice fillets can lie separately. Fold the sides up slightly so the sauce doesn’t run out.
  • Spoon 2/3 tablespoons of chermoula over each plaice fillet and rub this over the fish.
  • Place the fish in the oven and cook it for 15 minutes.


  • Put the couscous in a bowl together with 400 ml of boiling water. Cover this with aluminum foil and let it stand for 5 minutes until the water has been absorbed.
  • Put a dash of olive oil in a frying pan or wok and stir-fry the asparagus tips for 4 minutes until they’re al dente.
  • Break up the couscous with a fork. Add the asparagus tips together with the feta and sun-dried tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove the fish from the oven. Spoon the couscous onto the plates and place the plaice fillet on the couscous. Enjoy your meal!

Chapter 8

All recipes

Looking for more inspiration? Then see below more recipes with plaice. Or check our fish recipes for even more inspiration.

Oven-baked plaice fillet with chermoula and couscous

Chermoula is a Moroccan herb sauce with smoked paprika. It provides a boost of flavor [...]