Recipe: Pan Fried Abbotsbury Dab

PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:17 21 March 2019

Dorset dab simply pan fried with garlic, butter and parsley. Picture credit: John Grindle

Dorset dab simply pan fried with garlic, butter and parsley. Picture credit: John Grindle

Copyright John Grindle, 2013. All rights reserved.

Dab caught from Abbotsbury beach cooked with lots of garlic, parsley and butter

About the Chef: John Grindle Dorset Foodie Family Blogger

“My earliest memory is fishing from the coaling jetty (down by Mallams) with my parents and older brother,” recalls John, who worked in IT for Dorset Police for 42 years. “I still sea fish and spearfish whenever I can around Weymouth and Portland.”

In 2011, inspired by his love of food and Dorset, John created the West Dorset Foodie. He has now been joined by eight other like-minded bloggers and between them covers the whole county promoting local food and drink.

“I love it when a restaurant serves lesser-known locally caught species such as gurnard and pollack,” says John. “I would like to see more of the fish we catch here in Dorset being eaten by us, rather than exported. If we had fish counters like they do in France, and more of a culture of eating seafood, I think people would buy a lot more fresh fish.”

John Grindle fishing on the Dorset coastJohn Grindle fishing on the Dorset coast

John Grindle’s Pan Fried Abbotsbury Dab

When I catch dab (a flat fish similar to plaice or sole) off Abbotsbury Beach in the autumn I cook it with lots of garlic, parsley and butter. Buy this sustainable fish (as sweet as lemon sole but quarter of the price) from any good fishmongers when in season. Leave the fish whole if you prefer, just score the skin, mix the garlic and parsley into the butter and rub it into the fish, cook under a grill for 5 minutes, then squeeze over the lemon juice.


• Serves 2

• 2 dabs, filleted and skinned

• 50g butter

• Flour seasoned with salt and pepper

• 2 garlic gloves, finely chopped

• A few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped

• Juice from half a lemon


1. Coat the fillets in seasoned flour.

2. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the garlic and lightly brown, once hot enough add the fillets and cook for two minutes each side.

3. Remove the fillets and set aside on a warmed plate.

4. Add lemon juice and parsley to the now nut brown butter, stir for 30 second then pour the butter sauce over the fillets.

5. Serve with hunks of crusty bread to mop up the juices.

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