There are a variety of ways to fillet a round fish, and here is a technique which is easiest for beginners. Ask your fishmonger to scale and gut the fish. It will be easier to keep it clean and neat during filleting.
Types of round fish
Round fish are, you can guess, round in the centre of their body and this then tapers to a tail. Varieties of round fish include cod, seabass, whiting, pollack, mackerel, red mullet, gurnard, bream, and trout. Read more
Prepare the equipment
- 1 big cutting board
- 1 filleting knife or another knife with a flexible blade
- 1 pair of scissors
- 1 plate or tray for the fillets
- 1 bowl for the carcass
Prepare a big enough cutting board so that it holds one whole fish. Your knife should be sharp and have a long, flexible blade that will not damage the fish and will cut the fillets as neatly as possible. The tray and bowl can be replaced by a large plate and is required to keep the fillets separate from the fish bones.
Step by step instructions to fillet a round fish
- Use scissors to cut off the fins and tail.
- Descale the fish with a fish scaler or use the back of a kitchen knife.
- Cut the belly and remove the guts.
- Make a cut behind the gills and on the side fin, then cut straight down halfway through the fish to the backbone.
- Finish removing the fillet by cutting through the rib bones. As you cut, apply a fair pressure on the knife to follow the bones.
- Repeat all steps on the other side.
- Remove the rib bones and belly flap.
- Remove the skin
- Check that there are no bones remaining. Some fish have little bones that run along the midline of the fillet that you can feel with your fingertips.