How to Fillet a Flat Fish

Filleting a flat fish is easy if you follow these step-by-step instructions.

Most people leave this task to the fishmonger but knowing how to fillet a flat fish (and other fishes) will save you money as you’ll be able to use the carcass to make soups, and stock. There are a variety of ways to fillet a fish, and here is a technique which is easiest for beginners.

The purpose is to get 4 beautiful filets from the fish, leaving as little fish meat on the carcass as possible.

Read also : Sole fillet rolls with broccoli

Types of flat fish

Many flat fish have both eyes on one side of their head. Some varieties of flat fish include: flounder, brill, dab, megrim, plaice, sole, turbot and monkfish. Read more

Prepare the equipment

  • 1 big cutting board 
  • 1 fillet knife or another knife with a flexible blade
  • 1 plate or tray for the fillets
  • 1 bowl for the carcass

Prepare a big enough cutting board that 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 needed to keep the fillets separate from the fish bones.

Step by step instructions

Step 1

  • Descale and wash the fish before drying it with kitchen paper. Make an inscission at the tail and strip the skin before filleting.

Step 2

  • Lay the fish with the dark skinned side on top. (also if the skin has been stripped)
  • Use kitchen scissors to cut the tail.
  • Use the same sturdy scissors to cut the fins with tiny fish bones.

Step 3

  • Cut along the ‘spine’, which is easy to see and feel, from the head to the tail.
  • Slide your knife along the bone to carefully cut the fillet away. The fillet will easily lift up and enable you to cut it completely off the bone.
  • Cut along the other side of the spine before removing the second fillet.

Step 4

  • Flip the fish over and repeat the same process to remove the remaining filets. 

Step 5

  • Once all fillets are removed, break the bones, rinse them and make a fish stock or freeze for later use. The skin can be discarted.
Share with your friends
Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *