Knowing how to clean fish is essential for every good chef. And, although they can send it clean from the fishmonger, complete handling should be a priority in a good kitchen. And knowing in depth the fish cleaning process will make you check precisely the level of quality of your raw material. We recently told you how to prevent anisakids, all the more reason to take care of your neatness.
How To Clean Fish: Our Guide
Learning how to clean it properly requires a technique that, accompanied by a lot of practice, becomes almost automatic. But in the beginning, you need a protocol and a little concentration. Next, we explain how to do it in 7 easy steps. Follow them and you will get a perfect result in which you can take advantage of all the available fish.
Also you can read this article Best Fly Fishing Rod.
Step 1: Rinse the fish
The initial step is the rinsing of the raw material. The fish have been in boxes, on the floors of the boats, they have passed through other hands … so they have to be washed. This also removes mucus and loose scale debris. And you will avoid that, when cutting it, any external residue gets inside.
So put them in the sink or a large, well-cleaned drainer. And use cold water while rubbing them with both hands.
Step 2: Remove the scales
Once clean, each fish must be flaked. To do this, it is necessary to use a good knife and, with the back of it, scrape each side of the piece. Maintaining an angle of 45º, you have to hold the tail, lift it and proceed to flake with long and strong blows. From the tail to the head. And, once finished, continue on the other spine.
Once this step is completed, it must be rinsed again, to prevent loose scales from entering the abdominal cavity. And also to check if there are scales stuck to the skin.
An important point in this step is to use the edge of the knife in those species that have tougher skin. With great care, we will peel it without scratching the meat.
Step 3: cut fins
The following steps are easier if we previously cut the fins. To do this, you have to hold the tips of the fins in the air and with the knife cut at the base of these. If they are very long, it can be complicated, so they can be cut into small longitudinal sections.
Step 4: Open by cutting from belly to neck
At this point, it is time to open the piece. To do this, you have to place the fish with its head towards us and tilt it. We will introduce the tip of the well-sharpened knife slightly into the hole in the lowest part of the fish.
Through the hole, you have to slide the knife without going too deep, from the belly to the neck. This step is very delicate since if it is not done correctly the intestines can be perforated. If this happens, the fish will take on a bad taste and the piece will not be as appetizing for consumption.
Step 5: Remove viscera and guts
With great care, it must be gutted. That is, empty the inside of the fish and remove the viscera and guts. Although it is a quick and very simple step, it is delicate, since we do not want them to break. Check that you have removed all the organs inside. In this step, you will not need to use the knife. With the help of your fingers, you can do it without difficulty.
Step 6: Rinse the inside of the fish
The next step is to wash the abdominal cavity. Under the stream of cold water, separate the walls of the piece and rub them with your hand. Repeat this process for at least a minute to make sure everything is clean.
Step 7: Open and fillet
The time comes, then, to fillet. If you are not going to use the head, it is time to cut it cleanly to be able to work well.
On a flat surface, place the fish with the spine facing you. Pierce the back of the fish with the knife and slide it into the fillet. This process must be very slow and always keep the edge perpendicular to the spine. To have a good steak, you must do your best. With small cuts, slice the tissues on one side and then the other. And so on with the rest of the piece.
Remember that precision and patience are necessary to learn how to clean fish like a pro. And that the neatness of our food is part of the hygiene of our restaurant. Also, make sure you have a sharp knife and follow all the previous steps one by one.