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How to Make the Initial Cuts to Fillet Salmon

Learn how to make your initial cuts to fillet salmon in the first video of a 4-part Howcast series with Chef Brendan McDermott.


So what we're going to do today is we're going to fillet salmon. If it still feels a little slippery to you and you're having trouble holding it, you can always take a hand towel and just kind of protect your hand, and also give you a little bit of guide.

What we're going to do is we're going to first draw a point A and give ourselves a starting line. So we're going to start up just behind the fin and the gill. We're going to take the belly of our boning knife and just draw the first line. Now, we're not really going to cut all the way through. We just want to get down just until you reach the next, like the spine, right about there, right in the center of the fish.

We're then going to take our knife, come down to the bottom, down by the tail, and try not to lose too much meat and just get the back part. What you've done is you've given yourself now a starting point and a finishing point to make your cuts.

So now what we can do is we can take our hand towel, give ourselves a little bit of leverage, take our knife and what we want to do is we want to find the center of the fish. So some people like using that center fin, right there, that top fin, to kind of give them the guide of where to find it.

You just want to saw back and forth, but you don't want to saw. Like you're not stabbing and trying to kill it. All you're trying to do is just get into the skin. Then, once you're in there, you can just draw a nice, clean, straight line all the way down to the tail.

Try and stay as close to the spine as possible. You want almost your knife to run along that spine because that's, you don't want to waist any meat.

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