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How To Fillet A Fish


Honey Orange Fish Fillets

Honey Orange Fish Fillets

Linda Larsen
Whether you have a fisherman in the family or got a great deal on whole fish, here's instructions on how to fillet fish.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 15 minutes

Here's How:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Using small strokes of the knife, remove the fillet from the rib cage, feeling your way around the bones with the knife.
  5. Turn the fish over and repeat steps 1 through 3 on the other side.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. With your fingers and a clean tweezer, feel for any pin bones and pull them out of the fillets.


  1. Make sure your knives are very sharp or you will rip and tear the flesh.
  2. Go slowly at first. It takes practice to become an expert at filleting a fish.
  3. 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
  • tweezers

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