How to Fillet a Fish


A step-by-step guide for filleting a fish.

How to Fillet a Fish

What is required is a simple cutting board or flat surface, a thin flexible blade for cutting along the backbone, and a broad flat blade for removing the hard skin.

Holding the fish flat on the cutting board, and while using the thin knife, pierce the skin behind the pectoral fin. Slice the knife diagonally across the dorsal fin, cutting to, but not through, the backbone.

Hold the fish by the head and run the blade down the backbone towards the tail with a sawing motion. Do not try to cut too much of the fillet off the backbone at this stage. This will come later.

Continue to cut the fillet away from the backbone with long consistent knife strokes.

When near the tail region, hold the knife flat against the backbone and push the point right through the side of the fillet. With the knife protruding out the other side, cut right through the remaining fillet towards the tail.

Peel the fillet back with one hand while cutting the fillet away from the skin using small slicing motions. Don’t try to cut too much away in one stroke. It is better to use many small cuts, guiding the knife along any skin and removing all that beautiful flesh.