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How to Scale & Gut a Fish

If you feel like a fish out of water in the kitchen, this guide will have you slicing and dicing like a professional chef in no time.


  • Step 1: Rinse and dry Rinse and pat your fish dry, and place it on a hard, flat surface.
  • Step 2: Scrape the scales away Use the spoon to gently scrape the scales away, working from the tail toward the head. Then rinse the scales away.
  • Step 3: Cut off the tail and head Cut off the tail and head using the large knife. Gently tap the knife with the mallet to slice through the hard tissue.
  • TIP: Always cut and scrape away from yourself to avoid injury.
  • Step 4: Remove the innards Cut a slit along the fish's belly and then reach in and remove the innards.
  • TIP: Wear disposable gloves when removing the innards.
  • Step 5: Cut out the gills Use the scissors to cut out the gills. Be careful – fish gills are incredibly sharp.
  • Step 6: Remove the fins Use the scissors again to remove the fins. Cut along the seam where the fins meet the body. Wash your fish thoroughly before cooking.
  • FACT: Did you know? A recent poll found that 36 percent of men and 37 percent of women ranked lobster as the most romantic meal.

You Will Need

  • A hard
  • flat surface
  • A spoon
  • A large knife
  • A wooden or rubber mallet
  • A pair of scissors
  • Disposable gloves (optional)

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