How to Cut out a Flounder Fillet

Learn how to cut out a flounder fillet in the third video of a 4-part Howcast series with Chef Brendan McDermott.


So once you've made your initial point A and point B, and drawn a line down the center of the fish you now can start doing your fillets. Now this line should approximately be lined up with their spine.

So what we're going to do is we're going to take our fillet knife and just go down to the spine. We don't want to break bone we just want to get to it. The nice thing about the fillet knife is that by tilting it and pushing down a little bit, I can actually get just a little bit of a twenty degree angle on the blade and literally just pull back and make little incisions and clear the meat off the bone.

The trick here is to just follow the bone and you'll actually feel the tip of the knife, almost feel like your fingers are running down piano keys. You'll here this little [makes sound effect] kind of deal and that's what we're going for. Up by the neck there is a couple pin bones.

You can always just take your knife and make a couple cuts, you know like two or three. You'll feel them crack and then take your knife and then just gently pull back.

The trick to filleting fish or butchering, in that matter, is really for about nice clean long lines. If you just start sawing away you'll actually shred the meat and kind of destroy the fish and lose product. So what we want to do is we want to just be able to pull the knife back and just let it run through.

So just reinsert the knife and gently, keeping your guide hand out of the way, just bringing my knife across the bone and you'll actually start seeing the meat just slide right off. When dragging your knife along the bones, if you need a little visual, you can use your other hand to just lift the meat up, but again, fish meat can be a little bit you know delicate so you don't want to rip it and tear it. You just want to lift it up enough to be able to just see where the knife is going.

Always make sure you have nice, clean, long strokes so as not to shred the meat. As that starts to open up the fillet should come right off. As you get to the top you'll start noticing some of the meat change direction and it almost looks like the fins are a little bit like a mohawk. You can just kind of clear right there and clear that part right out and then end up with your fillet.

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