Test Kitchen tips: Filleting a fish
I'd rank filleting a fish right up there with learning how to slice a holiday turkey, or baking a beautiful three-layer cake. There's nothing like the satisfaction to be had when you finally get it right.
Filleting a fish is not hard, but it's one of those kitchen techniques that does take some practice. Follow the steps after the jump for a quick tutorial, then try your hand at it. You may mess up the first few times, but don't worry, with a little time and some patience you'll get the hang of it! And check out these tips for choosing fresh fish.
If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at [email protected].
-- Noelle Carter
Photo credits: Christina Chung
1. To fillet a fish, use a fillet knife specially designed for fish. It will have a thinner blade which is flexible, and the handle should have a good grip (fish can be slippery when you're filleting; you do not want the knife to slip).
9. To remove the skin, lay the fillet, skin-side down, on the work surface. Hold the end of the tail with your fingers and carefully slide the blade into the tail, through the flesh, and down to -- but not through -- the skin. If you have trouble grasping the skin, use a kitchen towel for a more secure grip. With the flat blade angled just slightly downward towards the skin, move the knife away from you in smooth strokes, sliding it against the skin and through the fillet.
10. Feel along the fillet, using a pair of fish tweezers or pliers to remove any bones. Trim and slice the fillet as desired before cooking.