Whether you have a fisherman in the family or got a great deal on whole fish, here's instructions on how to fillet fish.
Time Required: 15 minutes
- Hold the fish on the cutting board with the back of the fish toward you. Using a thin flexible knife, cut through the back of the head to the backbone and turn the blade so it's running along the backbone.
- Hold the fish by placing your non cutting hand over the head. Push the knife along the backbone to the tail using a sawing motion.
- Pull the fillet away from the body of the fish while making small careful cuts with the knife to retain as much flesh as possible.
- Using small strokes of the knife, remove the fillet from the rib cage, feeling your way around the bones with the knife.
- Turn the fish over and repeat steps 1 through 3 on the other side.
- Using a flat bladed knife, slice a bit of the skin away from the flesh. Cut a hole in the loosened skin so you can fit your finger through it.
- Hold the skin through the finger hole and pull the skin away from the fillet, using the knife to hold the fillet down. Hold the knife at a 45 degree angle.
- With your fingers and a clean tweezer, feel for any pin bones and pull them out of the fillets.
- Make sure your knives are very sharp or you will rip and tear the flesh.
- Go slowly at first. It takes practice to become an expert at filleting a fish.
- Removing the fillet from the rib cage is the most difficult step. Be very careful and go slowly.
What You Need
- whole fish
- sharp thin bladed knife
- sharp flat bladed knife
- cutting board