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How To Fillet Salmon

Updated on July 31, 2012

Techniques on Filleting Salmon

Read through the following steps to quickly learn how to easily and efficiently fillet salmon. Sometimes when you purchase salmon, it may come as the whole fish, which will need to be broken down into fillets. While this is an easy task for the experienced fishmonger, others may want a little help so they can produce a beautiful fillet.

Step 1:

First you will need to rinse off the fish with cold water so as to remove any slime or debris. Also make sure your work area is clean and without clutter.

Step 2:

A sharp fillet knife is needed, as well as a flat surface to lay the fish on. The first step in filleting is to make sure you are comfortable with where the fish is placed for cutting, which is really a matter of personal preference, but it is important.

Filleting a salmon is easy to do.
Filleting a salmon is easy to do. | Source

Step 3:

If you have a whole salmon with the head remaining, you will need to remove it first. With the salmon laying on your cutting board, make cuts along the back side of the fish's gill plate, down to the bone, on each side. Then use the thickest section of your knife and wedge through the spine vertebrae and cut through to remove the head. Discard the head and quickly wipe down the cutting board again before starting to fillet.

Step 4:

Position the salmon on your cutting board so that the long side of the fish's back is facing you. Place your knife at the top of the fish (where the head use to be), and cut into the salmon just above the spine and run it down the length of the spine and past the tail. It is important to run the knife right along the spine so as to maximize the meat on the fillet. It helps to keep a little pressure on top of the fish with your other hand as you draw the knife. Make sure to also cut through the rib cage so you can pull off a nice clean fillet. Repeat the process on the other side.

How to fillet Salmon

Step 5:

Once you have your two fillets, you will next need to clean them up a bit. With the meat side up, you will need to trim away some of the stomach area where the fish was gutted. To make it look even better, you will want to trim out the silver / white flesh area that is left in the stomach area.

Step 6:

To make the fillets boneless, take some pliers and remove the large white bones that are positioned down the center of the fillet. These are quick and easy to remove, but make sure you pull them all. Next, rinse the fillets in cold water and you are ready to use the salmon in a delicious recipe.

Salmon fillet ready for the BBQ.
Salmon fillet ready for the BBQ. | Source

Quickly Fillet a Salmon

Fillet Knives

When filleting a salmon, or any whole fish, it is important to use a quality fillet knife. The blade should be at least 7 1/2 inches in length to make it easier to cut across the full width of the fish. A longer knife, say about 9 inches, can help when breaking down larger fish.

Filleting 2 King Salmon

DisclaimerThe content of this page is not affiliated with the company names or products discussed, listed, presented or shown. The information provided is for general information purposes only and without warranties of any kind. Company names and products shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.


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