How to prepare and fillet a round fish

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th May 2017

So in this video, I'm going to show you how to prepare and fillet fish. First thing when sourcing fish, it’s very important to get a good relationship with your fish supplier, always buy from sustainable sauces, quality points to look for with a fish: you always want a nice what they call a sea slime on it, the flesh should be firm, the eyes should be nice and bulbous not sunk and the main telling point with fish is always look for the gills, the gills should be nice and bright red and not brown.

Okay the first step to scaling the fish, there’s a number of ways you can do this, you can do this over a sink, my preferred way is with a pair of scissors we need to take off the fins first of all, once the fins are removed the next step is to scale the fish, so using the back of a filleting knife or you can use a proper fish scaler, very gently holding the tail allow the scales to come up try not to be too heavy-handed because you don’t want to damage the actual skin, so same on both sides.

The next step ice-cold water we just gently rinse the fish to remove any extra scales and onto a clean chopping board. The next step we gut the fish on the belly of the fish, you go from the back end just cutting the skin through, until you’ve got an incision like that, pull out from one side and the intestines will be hanging and with the scissors snip them out now the next step is just under that gill you make an incision of 45 degrees to the head all the way down to the backbone same on the opposite side, just apply slight amount of pressure, if you can see where the backbone is just run your knife along there just to score the skin so your not cutting all the way through yet we’re just finding where we’re going to cut so your just above the bone there then with the knife just down to the spine nice smooth strokes then when you get to the spine you’re knife is going over it like that, then through when you come to the rib cage take the scissors snip through them and there’s your first fillet removed from the bone.

Turn the fish over and on the second side you go from the tail up, so we just cut across the tail there and then again same principle small amount of pressure and up, down to the backbone scissors again through the rib cage there's our two fillets, so again clean the board the next step is to trim the fillets, so to do this lay the fillet flat and where the rib bones are you put a knife under it and then down so you’ve created a flat with all the rib bones on it, then with the sharp knife again trim the fillet around so there’s a natural shape to the fillet and then we just nip off the end and we have one perfect fillet there and exactly the same on the opposite side, again nice and natural line, there’s our two fillets.The final part we need to do is to pin bone the fish, so the pin bones run right along that backbone where the ribs were so for each rib there’s obviously one in bone so we’re using the fish tweezers take them out one at a time, very gently so we’re not damaging the flesh, a little tip for this if you fillet your fish and leave the fillets to rest in the fridge for a few hours before pin boning the flesh relaxes and they come out a little bit easier, then just run your finger over it to ensure there all out and that's it there’s our two fillets.

The final part we need to do is to pin bone the fish, so the pin bones run right along that backbone where the ribs were so for each rib there’s obviously one in bone so we’re using the fish tweezers take them out one at a time, very gently so we’re not damaging the flesh, a little tip for this if you fillet your fish and leave the fillets to rest in the fridge for a few hours before pin boning the flesh relaxes and they come out a little bit easier, then just run your finger over it to ensure there all out and that's it there’s our two fillets.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th May 2017

How to prepare and fillet a round fish