Filleting a round fish
How to fillet a fish like mackerel or sea bass.
Points to remember
- 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.
- Snap the head off, removing any innards.
- Make an incision along the skin on the back of the fish, to one side of the dorsal fin.
- Place the tip of the knife in and run from the heat to 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- More about our fish expert, CJ Jackson.