How To Fillet Salmon
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- July 24th, 2013
- in Food Tips
When you’ve got yourself a whole, gutted fish you’d like to fillet, it’s really not that challenging of a method to adhere to. The challenging part is how well you cut the fish, but you’ll only get better with practice. If you’ve just got a huge, fresh bit of salmon with skin, you could skip down to the final section and get right down to skinning and cutting.
Removing the Meat on the Fish
When cutting the meat straight off the fish, you’ll have to have a very well-defined knife and a firm hand. The trick is removing the flesh well enough to get all the excellent meat off the fish. It may be a great idea to start slow up until you get a practice of it. First, scale the fish using a sharp knife swiped against the grain of the scales. If you do this in water, it will prevent the scales from soaring everywhere and is still equally as effective; just don’t press way too hard or you’ll bruise the fish. If you’d rather go an easier route, a fish scaler might be more your thing. Once the fish is scaled, place your sharp knife a ways behind the gill and cut straight down. Cut down to the backbone and the turn your knife to cut lengthwise down the fish with your knife parallel to the spine. Use the spine as the guide and saw right down to the tail and then try and take off as much meat as you can.
Cut off the bottom and top of the fillet and then there is more undesired meat. You don’t have to cut too much off the top, however the bottom has the fat of the fish, which is-surprisingly-not that extraordinary to eat. Just make sure that the fins are not on your fillets of fish. Turn the fish over and do the same thing on the other side of the fish, slicing a clean piece from the fish. You need to now have 2 large bits of the fish with skin. When you’d like you can cut the flesh into fatter pieces now and keep the skin on. Some want to cook salmon with the skin on, but if not, then you’ll have to carefully remove the skin as to get as much meat as you can.
When you’d like to move the pin bones from your fish, grab a couple of clean, needle-nosed pliers or tweezers plus a knife. The bones are usually most visible in the thickest area of the fish on the middle. Run the rear of your knife across the piece of fish, commencing at the head. The bones should stick up through the flesh, making it simpler to identify them. Then you’re able to use fishbone tweezers, regular tweezers or needle-nosed pliers to pull out the bones. Take them out at a forty-five degree angle into the head to make it a little quicker to remove. You should now have a boneless hunk of flesh to deal with. You can double check to be sure you got all the bones, since their tiny size makes it easy to miss a few.
Taking out the Skin and Cutting to Pieces
When the fish have been cut and deboned, you might like to skin the flesh and slice it into perfect pieces for supper. It’s fairly easy to do, just follow these steps:
Obtain a good pair of clean vice grips (I have a pair that I use for various things in the kitchen area only). Grip the salmon fillet by the tail end with the vice grips. This gives you a solid grip over the fish. You can simply use your fingers, but it’s more difficult and slippery. Put the salmon skin-down on a slicing board. Position the knife where the skin suits the flesh of your fillet. Angle the fillet knife slightly downward towards the flesh, and, using a light sawing motion, cut in between the skin and the meat. Pull slightly on the skin as you slice with the cutting knife.
Hold the knife flat and up against the fish and cut at a diagonal angle through the flesh. The objective is to get the slice to be as flat as possible so there’s an even, flat surface to cook. After all that work of cutting, deboning and skinning, your salmon is ready to cook and serve up. It may look hard initially, but the more you handle the extra tasks of preparing salmon, the much easier it will get. Practice makes perfect.
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