How To Fillet Fresh Caught Salmon Before Cooking

Did you know that there are seven types of Pacific salmon? Five of them can be found in North American waters: coho, chum, chinook, sockeye, and pink.

Not only are they a great source of protein, but they’re also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can benefit the heart.

And there are many options when it comes to cooking salmon. For example, you can make pan-fried salmon, grilled salmon, or broiled salmon.

Do you have some fresh caught salmon? Looking for a guide on how to make fillets?

If so, you’re at the right place. Keep reading for everything you need to know about how to fillet salmon!

How to Fillet Fresh Caught Salmon

  1. Cut Open the Belly

Rinse the salmon with cold water and remove the anal fins. Place the fish on its back on a large cutting board and insert your knife into the anal hole.

Once it’s in, cut the fish all the way down to the mouth. Make sure not to cut too deep; you don’t want to damage the organs as they may contain bacteria that can contaminate the meat.

Remove the roe (you can pull it right out with a small tug) as well as the guts with your hand. Dispose of them properly.

Tip: Consider tossing the fish remains back into the water if you’re salmon fishing. That’ll prevent wildlife from getting into the trash.

  1. Cutting the Salmon Fillets

Place your knife behind the front fin. Press down until you can feel the spine and make a downward cut that ends at the belly. Remember, the cut should be clean; you shouldn’t have to make a sawing motion.

Once you’ve hit the spine, place the knife horizontally and run it along the backbone down toward the tail. Gently lift the meat to ensure that it’s detached from the head. If it’s still attached, cut it away with your knife.

Repeat on the other side to get the fillets off.

  1. Remove the Bones

Place the fillet skin-side down on the cutting board and run your knife down next to the ribs. Slowly work toward the edge of the fillet. You don’t want to cut straight down as you’ll lose a lot of the meat.

Once you’ve done that, use a pair of tweezers or needle-nose pliers to remove the pin bones (refrigerating the fillets beforehand will firm up the meat and make it easier).

Or if you want, you can pick them out of the meat as you’re eating it.

Knowing How to Fillet Fresh Caught Salmon

Fillet Fresh Caught Salmon

And there you have it—a guide on how to fillet fresh caught salmon. As you can see, it’s not that difficult. If anything, you just have to follow the proper steps!

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