Fish Cutting Techniques: Tips and Tricks for Perfect Filets


Sobat Penurut, are you tired of filleting fish only to end up with uneven or squished filets? Fish cutting can be a daunting task, but with the right techniques and tools, you can achieve perfect filets every time. In this article, we will explore the various methods and tricks used by professional chefs to fillet fish with ease and precision.

Why Proper Fish Cutting is Important

Fish cutting is not only important for presentation purposes, but it also affects the taste and texture of the fish. Improper fish cutting can result in unevenly cooked filets, which can be chewy or mushy in certain parts. Additionally, leaving bones in the fillets can be a choking hazard, so proper fish cutting is essential for both safety and taste.

The Tools You Need

Before you start filleting, it is important to have the right tools. Here are the tools you will need:

  • Fillet knife
  • Cutting board
  • Tweezers
  • Sharpener
  • Gloves (optional)

Basic Fish Cutting Techniques

Here are the basic techniques used for cutting fish:

1. Scaling

Before filleting, it is important to remove the scales. This can be done using a scaling tool or the back of a knife.

2. Gutting

After scaling, gutting the fish is the next step. Cut the belly of the fish and remove the organs.

3. Filleting

There are various methods for filleting fish, but the most common is the “pinbone-out” method. Start by making a cut behind the gills and run the blade along the backbone. Use the tweezers to remove any remaining bones.

Advanced Fish Cutting Techniques

For more delicate fish, such as salmon or trout, other techniques are used:

1. Butterfly Fillet

This technique involves filleting the fish on one side, then flipping it over and filleting the other side. The result is a boneless fillet with the skin still intact.

2. Sashimi Cut

This technique is used for cutting fish into thin slices for sashimi or sushi. The fish is first filleted, then sliced thinly against the grain.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when cutting fish:

  • Using a dull knife
  • Not removing all the bones
  • Not properly scaling or gutting the fish
  • Cutting too close to the skin, resulting in squished filets

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Fillets

Here are some tips and tricks used by professional chefs:

  • Keep your knife sharp
  • Use a flexible fillet knife for delicate fish
  • Remove the skin after filleting for easier handling
  • Make sure the fish is properly chilled before cutting

Frequently Asked Questions

Question Answer
What type of knife is best for filleting fish? A flexible fillet knife is best for delicate fish, while a sturdier blade is better for larger fish.
Do I need to remove the skin before filleting? No, you can fillet the fish with the skin intact and remove it later for easier handling.
Can I reuse the bones for fish stock? Yes, fish bones can be used to make a flavorful broth for soups and sauces.
How can I tell if the fish is fresh? Fresh fish should have clear eyes, a firm texture, and a mild odor.
What is the best way to store fish? Fish should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or foil.
Can I reuse the same cutting board for different types of fish? No, it is important to use separate cutting boards for different types of fish to prevent cross-contamination.
How do I properly dispose of fish waste? Fish waste should be wrapped tightly in plastic bags and disposed of in the trash.
What is the difference between farmed and wild-caught fish? Farmed fish are raised in tanks or pens, while wild-caught fish are caught in their natural habitat.
Can I freeze fish after it has been filleted? Yes, fish can be frozen after it has been filleted, but make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil.
What is the best way to remove pinbones? Pinbones can be removed using tweezers or a special pinbone remover tool.
Can I use the same method for cutting different types of fish? The basic techniques can be used for most types of fish, but more delicate fish may require different techniques.
Is it necessary to wear gloves when cutting fish? While gloves are not necessary, they can provide a better grip and protect your hands from cuts.
Can I cut fish with a regular kitchen knife? A fillet knife is recommended for cutting fish, but a sharp kitchen knife can also be used.


Nah, Sobat Penurut, now that you know the tips and tricks for perfect fish cutting, it’s time to put them into practice. Remember to use the proper tools, techniques, and tips for the type of fish you’re cutting, and avoid common mistakes. With a little practice, you’ll be filleting fish like a pro in no time.


The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional advice. Always consult a professional chef or fishmonger for specific advice on fish cutting and handling.