Filetting a fish

How to fillet a fish


One of the skills that anyone who loves cooking and preparing food needs to know is how to fillet a fish. Don’t worry, if this is your first time to try this out, filleting a fish is actually very easy once you get the hang of it. And once you do get the hang of it, you will be able to easily fillet a fish of any size – from extra large to pan sized fish.

Benefits When You Fillet a Fish

  • Minimal Wastage
    You get more of the fish when you fillet and less of the wastage. As a result you save money when you learn this very useful skill.
  • Great Fillets
    Practice and do this properly and you will end up with fantastic fillets that you can cook easily in a number of ways.
  • Easy Eating 
    One of the problems with fish is that it takes work to enjoy the fish. But when you fillet your fish, you won’t have to worry about the bones. All you need to do is to pay attention to your food.

What you need when you want to fillet a fish are a cutting board and a sharp filleting knife. It’s important that you make sure that you knife is sharp. Using a sharper knife will not only make your work easier, it’ll make your work safer. There are great knives out there. For help you can see your local tackle shop for tips and assistance.


  • Cut the fish from the tail and work your way up the backbone. With smaller fish, you can cut through the rib bones, while larger fish will have you cutting above them. Knives that have serrations near the handle are great for cutting through rib bones.
  • Fillet the side of the fish by slicing diagonally across the fish. You can use the pectoral fin as a guide. If you weren’t able to cut through the ribs, you can cut away above them. Leave the stomach cavity intact.
  • Repeat the same process on other side.
  • On your cutting board, place the fish fillet skin down and cut out any remaining rib bones.
  • To skin your fillet, you need a very sharp knife. With your knife at a 45 degree angle, start from the tail and work your way to the other end of fillet, removing flesh from skin.
  • Remove any remaining pin bones. If you have a large fillet, you can slice it into smaller pieces about 1 -2 cm thick.
  • If you have a large fish, you can cut out and clean the wings. These taste great!

Now that’s how you fillet a fish. With some practice you will be able to easily make your own fillets. Impress your friends and guests with your skill and impress them even more with the different kinds of dishes that you create.

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