Fillet a Fish

No fingers were cut while bringing you this how to.

Thus it begins

Before you do anything else rinse the fish in cold water. Then cut off the fins as seen above. The easiest way to do this is to trace around the cartilage. Keep them if you are making stock other wise — into the trash.

You really should buy a deboning knife

Begin the cut at the base of the tail and lay the blade on the spine. You are going to trace the knife blade up against the spine of the fish keeping it  parallel to the cutting board.

Working the meat

Halfway through the fish take the knife and score down from the top. Use the top fin to judge where to make the first incision.

Now it makes sense

Using the knife blade separate the flesh from bone by working downward while holding the fillet up. By tracing the blade across the bones the flesh will lift away.

So close

After working around the rib cage slice the remaining meat away from fish body.

The last cut

There will be a small piece of fish remaining on the skeleton. Score against the bone to remove it. I like to use this part to flavor stocks and sauces.

All that remains

Above are the two fillets plus meat tenders and carcass.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
This entry was posted in Food, How to, Seafood and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Fillet a Fish

  1. fatisrecipes says:

    Nice work, chef!
    ….. but I buy them filleted 🙂 hehehe…

  2. Fantastic tutorial! I always just ask the kind fish counter person to filet it for me, but now I’ll certainly feel better about doing it myself! Thanks!

  3. OliePants says:

    My mom used to gut the whole fish when we were younger. This post definitely brought it back. Good job with those knife skills! Esp the no-cutting-yourself skills. 🙂

  4. says:

    I usually ask the fishmonger to do this for me too!

    What did you end up making with your homemade fillets?

  5. eva626 says:

    so thats how you cut it! great pics and post is my fav

  6. Babygirl says:

    Rufus my friend, you can cut a fish. I can’t even imagine myself doing what you did in this post lol. I’m scared I would hurt myself lol. But with practice comes a nice piece of fish. Great post.

  7. eatnew says:

    This is great. Love your blog. I hope you have a photographer because otherwise you did lots of stopping, washing, positioning, etc. – it looks great!

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