Filleting a fish takes a fair amount of skill and unless you're a fishmonger or professional chef, this task can be quite challenging.
President Hotel executive chef Philip Alcock, says the trick is to use a sharp, flexible knife with a comfortable hold and cutting as close to the bone as possible.
Using a good, sharp knife also ensures that your fish stays firm.
“Only fillet firm fresh fish (and) always cut away from yourself,” he says.
tips for filleting fish:
Remove scales: Your fishmonger will typically do this for you, but if not, scrape them off from tail to head using the blunt edge of the knife, held at an angle. Make sure to watch out for the spine, and get all the scales.
Don’t struggle or put too much pressure on the fish - glide the knife.
Cut on the bone: From the incision at the head, guide the knife down the backbone to the tail, cutting around the rib cage with the blade of the knife slightly up to separate the fillet.
Remove the pin bones: When removing the pin bones feel them first with the tips of your fingers. You can then use your hands, tweezers, or pliers to remove the bones from the fish.
Keep the bones for fish stock to make the base of a beautiful sauce.
Enjoy the process of filleting as it can be very rewarding!