What Tools Do I Need to Fillet a Flat Fish?
- A sharp, thin, flexible knife, or
- A spoon
- A fork
- A serving plate
Instructions to Fillet a Flat Fish:
Step 1: Place your cooked flat fish on a clean flat surface with the brighter or darker side up. Make sure it has cooled down enough to be handled safely.
Step 2: Identify the line that runs down the center of the fish’s body. This line separates the two fillets on this side of the fish.
Step 3: Make an incision along this line with your knife or spoon, starting at the tail end and working towards the head. Be careful not to cut too deep; you aim to slice through the skin and meat, not the bone.
Step 4: Separate the fillet from the bones once the center line is cut. Starting again at the tail end, carefully slide your knife under the fillet and gently lift it away from the bone as you move toward the head. This process requires patience to avoid tearing the delicate meat.
Step 5: Fully separate the first fillet from the flat fish and carefully move it to your serving plate.
Step 6: Instead of flipping the flat fish over, you will remove the backbone. Using your knife, carefully lift the tail end of the backbone. Then, holding it firmly but gently, pull it away towards the head. It should come off relatively quickly, leaving the bottom fillet on your working surface.
Step 7: If the bottom fillet didn’t come off with the backbone, repeat Step 4 to remove it. Then transfer it to your serving plate.
Just like before, the key to success is practice. In time, you’ll become proficient at filleting a Sole or any flat fish without flipping it over. Enjoy your cooking journey!