How To Fillet A Fish (DIY)? A Step-By-Step Guide!

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: November 26, 2022
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Filleting a fish is a task that requires meticulous steps and skills. The more experienced you are, the better understanding you will have concerning the question of how to fillet a fish. This process requires a particular level of effort, yet, putting more energy while cleaning the fish will give you a better result, as while eating the fish, you won’t feel any bones.

The Learning Process If You Are A Newbie!

If you want to learn how to fillet a fish properly, you are bound to zip through any pile pretty quickly. There lies a good level of satisfaction in knowing that you could manage a pile of fish easily and nicely. You even feel proud as you accomplish it as skillfully as the experienced ones.

You should not worry too much about getting all the meat off while you start filleting the fish the very first time. In the beginning, you only need to get some. It is not necessary to scale the fish first in case you skin it as recommended. But in case you want to use its skin, you might need to scale it unless you like scales in your fish.   

Process Of Filleting A Fish   

Process Of Filleting A Fish   

If you want to understand the process of filleting fish in a systematic manner, follow the steps given below-

1. Cut the head off from behind the grills.

2. While holding the fishtail and by letting the backbone guide the direction, begin to cut towards the head. Be careful and make sure that the knife is across the fish and away from your hand. You need to start cutting towards the place where the head was situated.

3. Next, you have to take off the skin. Hold the fillet from the tail, and skin the fish side down.

4. Now hold the knife crosswise on the fillet, and insert your knife aiming at the flesh and the skin. It will take time to get perfect at this step, so don’t worry.

5. Now hold the skin and start cutting in the direction where the head is situated.

Filleting A Larger & Big fish

Filleting A Larger & Big fish

In case you are wondering how to fillet a fish of a large size, you should know that the method mentioned above can get awkward. So, the best and most effective way is filleting the fish by opening it like it’s a book. Here are the instructions on how to fillet a fish which is large-

1. Start with one deep cut behind the fish’s gills. This should be approximately halfway through the fish’s thickness.

2. Cut a few inches long slit at the dorsal side of the fish. 

3. Use the tip of the knife to separate the bones from the flesh of the fish. In this step, the fish should start looking like an open book.

4. After it gets open completely, you have to start cutting the fillet away. You can do this by moving your knife parallel to the spine of your “fish-book.”

This way, you can fillet your fish without any hassles and in the most effective manner. The more you bring this method into practice, the easier it will get for you, as the intricacies can only be understood by doing it practically.


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