How to fillet a fish

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NZ Fishing World

If you’re anything like me, you are lucky enough to regularly find yourself filleting nice eating sized snapper. Surely practice makes every cut perfect then? Yeah, not so much. Every time I think I have filleting dialed, and I might get a few absolutely bang on, there’s always that fish that just throws you, and you end up feeling like Edward Scissorhands on the piss. Here’s a quick vid taken on my phone by my mate Lloyd, after a brilliant morning session on the kayak.

The job on this fish is not my finest work, but designed to show the process. It gets the fillet off in good condition and saves most of the meat.  You can practice it and become proficient yourself.

All heads and frames with remaining flesh on them go to a good home, or are recycled into the vegetable garden compost.

You can actually notice the fish are still a bit ‘green’. Meaning they have not chilled down enough, and still have quite a bit of runny blood.

It also made them a bit tricky to fillet cleanly.

It makes such a difference to bleed, and chill your fish.  When it comes to filleting time it’s much easier if the flesh consistency is nice and firm, and the remaining blood has solidified a bit.

This method of filleting deliberately avoids opening up the gut cavity, and smearing bacteria ridden guts and waste all over the filleting table and fillets themselves.

Fish prepared like this can easily last up to six or seven days in the fridge before it reaches ‘that’ stage....... (you know, the one that shop – bought fish gets to the next day 😊)

Happy carving.

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