Filleting a fish is a necessary skill to have if you plan on catching and serving your own fish or buying fish whole from the market.
If purchasing a fish fresh from the market, ask them to scale and gut it for you. We also recommend picking up a pair of gloves to wear while filleting the fish, they will help prevent your hands from smelling fishy.
Before filleting the fish, rinse it off and pat it dry.
After the fish is clean, it’s time to remove its head and tail. To remove the head, place the chef’s knife behind the fish’s pectoral fin, cutting downward at a diagonal angle straight through the bone. The tail can be removed using the chef’s knife to make a cut straight down where the tail fin connects to the body. After you have separated the head and tail from the body, toss both pieces into the trash.
We will now use a fillet knife to make a smooth cut along the backbone from the head to the end of the body. Make sure to cut along the rib cage so that the fish separates properly.
Our next step is to trim the thin belly of the fillet. This piece is suitable for consumption but it is higher in fat and will cook quicker than the rest of the fish. Some prefer to save this piece for stock.
Now it’s time to remove the skin of the fish. Place the fish skin-side down and place the fillet knife between the skin and flesh, making a clean cut from the tail to head of the fillet. It will be easier if you keep a firm grip on the skin.
You have now successfully filled your fish!
Do you have an alternative method to filleting a fish or other helpful tips and tricks? Share them with our Monterey Boats family on our Facebook page or in the comments section of this blog!