Preparing a flat fish
How to prepare fish like plaice and sole.
Points to remember
- Remove the head by scoring through the skin with a sharp knife and then using scissors to cut through.
- Using a flexible fish filleting knife, cut down the central line until you come into contact with bone. Cut a small incision across the tail.
- Rest the knife on the backbone and draw it down, listening for the knife pinging along the bones, repeating until you begin to get underneath the fillet.
- Use a long sweeping action to then stroke the fillet away from the bone and pull the fillet away. Repeat on the other side and then turn the fish over and repeat until you have 4 fillets.
- Skin the fillets by placing skin-side down and turning the fillet so that the narrowest side is towards you. Hold the fillet with one hand and then and position the knife so it's nearly flat with the board, but slightly angled so you're cutting down towards the skin. Use a sawing motion, trying not to cut into the flesh as you go.
- Cook as desired. The fish can be simply fried in butter on a high heat, after being rolled in seasoned flour.
- Fish should smell pleasantly of the sea - if it smells fishy, it's not fresh.
- The eyes should be bright and shining - dull eyes mean the fish is not fresh.
- If you pull the gills open, the insides should be bright pink-red - a dark bluey-purple colour means the fish isn't fresh.
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