How To Filet Salmon

In this article, I will show you how to filet salmon like a pro. By following these easy step by step instructions you will get neat, trim fillets that are tasty, delicious and healthy. 

To accomplish this you will need to use a sharp knife with a blade which is at least a few inches longer than the width of the fish. Make sure it is really sharp, because that will make the job much easier and assure you of clean cuts. Get some pliers to remove the pinbones, a large cutting board and a towel to grip the fish.

Step 1

Start by laying the fish flat on the cutting board. Hold it by the head with the towel. Place your knife right behind the gill cover and cut down to, but not through, the backbone.

Step 2

Turn the knife, edge towards the tail, and make sure the blade is resting against and almost parallel to the backbone. Now cut toward the tail along the entire length of fish in a smooth stroke. Avoid using a back and forth sawing motion as this will tear the flesh.

Step 3

Set removed part aside, flip fish over and repeat.

Step 4

Discard or save the head and carcass.

Step 5

To remove the skin, cut away a thin strip of the under belly. Then slice a bit of skin near the tail end away from the flesh, enough to hold onto. Place your knife into the cut at an 35 degree angle, grab the skin with the towel and pull while using the knife to hold down the fillet. Make sure not to lift the knife off the board.

Step 6

Repeat procedure for the other side of the fish.

Step 7

To remove the bones, run your fingers over the fillet and remove them with the pliers. Cut into desired portions, rinse and pat dry.


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