Filleting a fish can look difficult but, like everything, it’s a matter of practice and good technique. Today, we’ll see how to fillet a sea bass, which is among the most popular fish to cook.
Sea bass is a versatile saltwater fish that can be baked whole, grilled, braised and more. For very fine preparations, sea bass fillets are an ingredient of choice as they are firm but melt in the mouth: just look at this pan-fried sea bass fillets and fennel fondue recipe!
Once you get the technique right, you will be able to apply it to similar shaped fish like red mullet, trout or whiting.
1. The sea bass must first be scaled and gutted (article coming soon).
2. Place the fish on a good cutting board.
3. With a knife, incise on both sides of the backbone. Place your hand flat on the fish to hold it well.
It is important to have the right tool: a boning or filleting knife will make the task a lot easier… and safe. The Victorinox 47513 Boning Knife is very affordable and popular. If you are looking for higher quality products, the Wusthof 4622 Classic and the Global G-21 Boning Knife are very good examples.
4. Cut along the edge with the blade. Pull the fillet off.
5. Be careful not to cut the edges; the detailing work that would follow takes time and increases the risk of leaving dangerous edges in the net.
6. Remove the lower part of the fillet as it isn’t interesting from a taste perspective.
7. Lay the fillet skin side down to remove the skin (if the recipe needs it).
8. Slide the sharp-edged blade along the skin and then finish checking for rebel edges. Rinse and pat dry.
The preliminary preparation of a fish has several phases:
1. Trimming (cutting the fins)
2. Removing scales (depending on species)
3. Removing guts
4. Rinsing with clean water
The freshness criteria:
1. The eye should be clear, shiny, convex, transparent.
2. Scales should be bright and well stuck to the fish.
3. The skin should be taut, colorful and stick well to the fillets.
4. The abdomen should be elastic, not inflated, not torn, and spotless.
5. Anus should be sealed.
With a little practice you’ll become confident enough to dress your fish fillets like a chef!
Do you have any particular technique to fillet sea bass and similar fish? Please share your views in the comments below! — Also Read: How to Cut an Onion