How to Clean and Prep a Fish to Debone and Fillet –

How to fillet a round fish

  1. Remove head by cutting at an angle just under the fins near the head on each side, and then under the fin on the underside.
  2. Snap the head off, removing any innards.
  3. Make an incision along the skin on the back of the fish, to one side of the dorsal fin.
  4. Place the tip of the knife in and run from the head to the tail, along the bones. Midway along the fish, place the knife down and through to the underside of the fish, and then run the knife along the whole fillet, to the tail. Remove the fillet by stroking the knife under the fillet from the mid point of the fish, towards the head, then remove it from the frame. Repeat on the other side. Trim skin around the fillets to neaten them.
  5. Pinbone the fillet, using tweezers to pull out the sturdy bones from the centre of the fillet, or cut along either side of them and pull the whole strip of bones out.


Developing the Skill of Deboning Meat

When it comes to acquiring the skill of successfully deboning meat, it all comes down to the correct knife choice. Using the wrong one can result in:

  1. Kitchen accidents: due to the extra force needed when making deep deboning cuts
  2. Badly butchered meat: which affects the dish’s overall flavor and presentation, plus creates meat wastage
  3. Time inefficiencies and frustration: as it takes longer to perform the job

The first step then in the learning how to debone is to choose the correct knife.

Variation of Healthy Fish Fillet Recipes at Home

Moments ago, you were enthusiastic by the variety of sauces we showed you. Prepare to be thrilled by the variations of fish fillet that are bound to take your dish to a whole new level of tanginess. 


The most common variant is the fried version of th

The most common variant is the fried version of this dish. This version was previously discussed in the sequence of steps in preparing a fillet. Assuming you wanted to create your own, you begin by deboning, marinating, and preparing your fillet. As simple as this, you can right away enjoy your meal. It is prevalent as it is a simple dish that you know you could never go wrong with. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy fried food? 

A fun way to add your touch to this dish would be by spicing it up; we mean that literally! Add your favorite condiments when preparing to personalize the tanginess as per your desire. It could be a ginger-garlic paste, red chili, curry powder, and whatnot. The sky is your limit. You can also add parmesan cheese, oats, and various ingredients for the crust when you fry the fillets. 

Just do not forget to make sure you fry the fillets to the right amount to get that perfectly crisp, golden-brown result. 


(Photo Credits to: velikakuhinja)
(Photo Credits to: velikakuhinja)

As you notice, the fillet itself is delicately soft; if you want it to be crunchy when fried, then go for a breaded version. To do this, you can simply buy the ready-made breaded fillet from the supermarket and make it. However, if you do it on your own, just roll your marinated fillet over a bowl of breading mix or bread crumbs before preparing. To get the perfect results to ensure you have coated the fish fillet thoroughly before you fry. If needed, you may coat twice for that extra, delicious crunch. 

Another little tip to get the same results if you are reluctant to use bread crumbs would be to use oats. It will be equally crispy and golden. 

Fillet Sandwich

(Photo Credits to istockphoto)
(Photo Credits to istockphoto)

As we have said, the fish fillet is a very flexible food because you can not just have it for lunch but also your snack. Just get a pair of buns and put it in between. You can have mayonnaise, ketchup, or even hot sauce, whatever you want. You can also chuck in some leafy greens, fresh veggies, like sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. and cheese to turn this into a sandwich that you or your children can savor. 

Sandwiches are a fun way to enjoy meals. They are easy to eat and mess-free. Either throw them in your picnic basket or your lunch bag, and you won’t be sorry! You can also be creative with how you dress your fish fillet sandwich. There are multiple ingredients that you can add to make your sandwich as per your preference.


(Photo Credits to: Flickriver)
(Photo Credits to: Flickriver)

For those who avoid eating oily food, the baked version is right for you. To pull this off, just add butter to your lemon marinade coated over your fillet. Then, instead of frying, place it inside a preheated oven for half an hour, slowly being cooked by its juice. 

There are countless reasons why baked foods should be preferred over fried ones. Often, we are concerned that it may take away from the dish’s authentic tanginess, but in this case, this style is so versatile that the baked version only makes it into a different kind of delicious. A recipe you simply will not get enough of. 


There are plenty of benefits to veganism. In case

There are plenty of benefits to veganism. In case you are a vegan and are sad about missing out on this mouthwatering recipe, you need not fret. Another must-try is the vegan fish fillet. In this version, the lone fish is added with vegan chips, sticks, sandwiches, and tofu. Then, it is dipped in any of the given sauces. What a versatile recipe, right? We told you! 

It should be noted that you will still not miss out on the health benefits or the original dish’s tanginess. You can quickly achieve this even without fish! Substitute it with tofu, oyster mushrooms, or white shimeji and follow the same instructions and recipe as we stated. Note that this recipe will be quicker to create at home since the prep time is significantly lesser than when you use actual fish. There is always a way to this fantastic recipe that ensures you don’t miss out on just because of your dietary restrictions. 

You can also be assured that these substitute ingredients won’t strip away the health benefits, as tofu contain the omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish. Oyster mushrooms are abundant in protein, vitamins, minerals, etc. that protect body cells. Fun fact – they also are low in sodium, calories, fat, cholesterol, and gluten. 

Initial Steps and Prepwork

The first priority is to clean a fish as soon as possible after capture and removal from the water. A fish’s body begins to die as soon as the fish is removed by the water. If you can’t clean it right away, put the fish on ice ASAP until then.

Second, try to do the cleaning outside if you’re not in a full kitchen. The fish-cleaning process can be fairly involved, messy and has a lot of splatter, which makes it really hard to clean in a tent or camper. Avoid the problem entirely by cleaning away from where you eat and sleep and in the outdoors. Wash everything down afterwards. Also, make sure not to clean where you tent because a lot of wild animals will smell the remains and come looking for food. You don’t need a big, furry surprise shuffling your tent for fish guts.

Always keep all fishing equipment like your different fishing tackles stored in your tackle box clean, including your fishing pliers and your braided fishing line. Mixing guts causes cross-contamination and makes it hard to hold the knife safely. Prep the fish by washing it down first and then dry it a bit with a paper towel before working.

Healthy and easy way to fillet a fish step by step in mins

As mentioned above, eating fish in a fillet form is quite a delightful experience because it’s hassle-free and not messy to eat. In contrast, the processes it undergoes before it comes as that soft strip of flesh is not a joke. Indeed, it’s a long way until the end. So in this part, let us run through how to fillet a fish step by step.

The first and most important thing you have to do is make sure that your fish is taintlessly clean. For doing so, you need to scrape away the scales to smoothen the surface, followed by the pulling out of the internal organs to prevent the stench odor. And then, thoroughly wash it to keep the meat seeming untouched.  

Consequently, the actual cutting of the flesh is manually done. You have to slice the fish in halves to remove its entire skeletal structure, making your fish as if it were a jellyfish. Then, make sure that you remove all the major and minor bones from the spine down to the random bones scattered along and beneath the flesh. In other words, no meat left unturned. 

In that event, failure to do it properly will excessively mess up your fillet. Thus, the key here is to use a finely sharpened knife with your skillful hands. Nevertheless, when you are too busy to debone, just pay for someone, maybe a facility, who knows how to do it and ask them to do it for you. Without a doubt, this step easily shaves off the time needed to prepare and make this food at home. 

For your information, there are factories with state-of-the-art equipment for fish deboning that can do it for mass production in a shorter time than doing it by hand. Therefore, just buy from them, and indeed the finished product is flawless. Quick Fix! 

Marinating for flavor

Meanwhile, assuming you’ve done deboning excellently with your fish, the next challenge is to put tanginess since fish fillets are tasteless. It is crucial because this decides whether you will have the perfect flavor or not. Listen close now!

Marinating is very, very – let us say it louder – very important for making sure that the meat does not dry out or become too chewy. You want your fish fillets to melt in your mouth and be as tasty as can be. Also, note that heat can form harmful substances while cooking; marinades can reduce these chemicals’ formations. Finally, to reiterate, marinating is very important for the tanginess of your dish. It is where lies the foundation of the entire dish, something to always bear in mind. When you marinate perfectly, you set yourself up for total success in mastering this unique fish fillet dish. 

For the marinating, you would require the use of a highly acidic mixture of the marinade. It means you need the extracted juice from a lemon or any citrus fruit available, and coat it on your fish. Don’t forget to add garlic and paprika, too. Put the fillet in these inclusions. Already sounds mouthwatering, does it not? However, there are more steps to go.

Lastly, you wrap the coated fish with plastic and store it inside a refrigerator so that the fillet will absorb the juice well enough. Through this process, your home-made dish will taste better by the time you have to cook it. 


Finally, this is the moment of truth. It is a sign that you are almost done. After you marinated it overnight, get and thaw the fillet from the refrigerator. 

Before doing this, put it on the second flour coating. (See the dish for complete details and process.)

Afterward, your fillet is ready for the main play. It is better to submerge it on deep-oil fry so that the real flesh is well-cooked. You know that your fish is already cooked once it turns golden brown. Once the fish is in that color, you will have your fish fillet crunchy and crispy, ready to be enjoyed with a good sauce or dish of your choice. 

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How to Clean and Debone a Fish Video Transcript:

Today we are going to show you how to debone fresh water trout. These are kind of intimidating when you go to the store and you see them in the case. It is a whole trout with all of the bones and you really don’t know what to do with it. Well it is really easy to do and let me show you how to do it here.

We have our hunter’s boning knife and the home boning knife. I am going to use the hunter’s boning knife today. It is really flexible, great for fileting fish, chicken, and other filets of fish. So here we go.

What we are going to do with this trout, it is already open, and we are going to cut along the back bone here.

So we are going to start up here at the top and just work our way down, you will hear the bones. Cutting through the bones, then we are slowly going to go all the way down to the back of the fish. Just go ahead and slice it all the way through. We are going to do the same to the body.

Cut right along that back bone. Keep it going down, all the way through. Then we can open up the fish and finish up what we started. Now we are just going to cut through the throat bone there. Then go ahead and cut this off, the head. Then I am going to cut right along the back bone there.

Next thing we are going to do is take out the belly bones. Take the knife and do some fine fileting on the belly. Just go straight down, nice easy cuts, until that’s taken off. The nice thing about butterflying a trout is you can stuff them, you can grill them like this right on the grill, leave the skin on. The skin renders down, it is real tasty and editable. Now we are doing the same thing on this side—Right through it.

It is ready to go. You will see, it is something called pin bones, right along the sides here. When you are grilling or cooking them they melt away, nobody ever takes them out. They won’t hurt you or anything like that. They are real fine small bones. That is how you filet a trout.

End of Fish Filet Video Transcript


Article NameHow to Fillet a Fish DescriptionThis article discusses how to fillet and debone a fish. Author Rada Cutlery