BoatUS ANGLER: Fishing Basics
How To Fillet A Striper
Courtesy of Striper.net
There are many different ways to fillet a Striper. We feel this method yields the best tasting meat. When cooking in a foil packet, you need the skin and dark meat removed. I also think that if you ice the rockfish well, and fillet it as soon as possible in this manner, it maintains better flavor.
I highly recommend that you wear a steel mesh glove.
Make sure your knife is sharp. If you are going to skin the fish, you do not need to scale it. Simply rinse the fish and make your first cut along the edge of the head down to the backbone.
Cut along the dorsal fin starting at the head, holding the blade edge tight against the backbone.
Continue until you reach the tail. The cut along the backbone should be about half way to the lateral line of the fish at this time.
Turn the fish over. (It is easier if you get both sides started before completing either side.) Make the cut along the head on this side the same as step 2.
Cut along the dorsal fin and backbone on this side the same as step 3.
Continue to the tail the same as step 4.
Using the forward curved part of your blade, slide it along the backbone until it reaches the skin at the tail end of the fish and until it reaches the ribs on the head end of the fish.
Slide the blade part of the way up the ribs on the head end of the fish. Then cut the skin pulling the fillet away from the fish. Do not cut the skin where it is attached to the tail.
Flip the fillet over the tail, using the attached skin to help hold the fillet stationary. Position the fillet at the edge of a cutting table, so that the knife blade can be held parallel to the table with part of your hand below the table.
Slide your knife blade along the fillet maintaining slight downward pressure on the forward part of your blade to keep from leaving too much meat on the skin.
Turn the fillet over with the side that was attached to the skin up.
Cut along the dark meat all the way to the cutting board. Be careful to follow the dark meat closely to not lose the white meat.
Cut the same way along the other side of the dark meat.
Your fillet will now be in two pieces. Trim the remaining dark meat that you missed from the fillet.
Repeat steps 8 thru 16 to finish filleting the other side of the fish.
To keep that fresh taste without freezing for a few days before cooking:
- Wash the striped bass fillets good and put them in a sealable refrigerator bag.
- Place the sealed bag in a bowl, covering the fillets with water.
- Fill the bowl the rest of the way with ice cubes, making sure the bag is completely covered with ice.
- Place in the refrigerator. Replace ice as it melts.
- This keeps the striper fillets as cold as possible without actually freezing them. The fish can still spoil, so cook them within a few days. Wash them thoroughly again before cooking.