Can You Eat Dabs?

When you are buying fish, there’s no guarantee that it is totally safe and healthy. You should be well informed about a certain type of fish before you buy it. In this article we will talk about dabs. Most people haven’t heard yet about this fish and that is a big shame. This fish is very healthy and it is similar to plaice, it is just a bit smaller.

In this article we will tell you basic things about a dab and its life. You will learn how this fish looks like, where it lives and what this fish eats.

Also, we will tell you if dab is safe for humans. Is this fish good for our health or it can be harmful? Should we make dabs a part of our regular diet? Read on and you will find out soon.

What are Dabs?

Dab, that is also known as common dab, is a small but commercially very important flatfish that lives in the North Sea. It is a demersal fish that can reach 40 centimetres in length but in most cases dab is about 20-30 centimetres long. Dab usually has a weight of one kilogram.

Dab has eyes on the right-hand side of the body and it is very similar to flounder, but dab is translucent. Dabs often have a sandy brown color with orange spots and dark brown flecks. The pectoral fins of a dab are orange and there is a characteristic semi-circular curve above the pectoral fin. The diet of dabs is made up of zoobenthos organisms such as crustaceans, small pieces of fish, marine worms, sand eels, prawns or molluscs. Sometimes, dab also feeds on dead or rotting fish.

Can People Eat Dabs?

Dabs are pretty small and people usually put them back in the sea. This brown fish is rather thrown overboard than used on a dinner plate. But, nowadays dabs are making a comeback. This fish is introduced into supermarkets and many people want to try it.

Actually, dabs are very good to eat. Not only are they tasty but they also have some health benefits for people. A dab contains omega 3 fatty acids that are important for heart health.

How To Prepare Dabs?

It is easy to prepare dabs. You just need to cut a slit at the back of the gills and to remove the guts. After that, wash out your dabs and fry them. But, as with all other fish, it is always better to steam or grill dabs because frying will increase the fat content of the fish. You can also fillet a dab.


As you have seen in this article, dabs are fish that are not popular as much as some other types of sea fish, but they should be included in your diet for many reasons. Dabs are small in size but they are very tasty, healthy and easy to cook.

Also, you should have in mind that a healthy diet includes at least two portions of fish weekly.