Friday Fuck Ups: How Not to Fillet a Fish


I’m not really sure why I prefer to cut my own fillets. Gutting and cutting up a fish is messy, smelly and if continually done wrong too many times, can take away from the final dish.  But then again… it’s a chance to play with knives and gross out my friends.

To me, the positives outweigh the negatives.  Money is also a factor, but then again, you pay less for a whole  fish then you would buying pre-cut fillets at Whole Foods.

If you’ve ever watched a Julia Child show or bothered to look up the process on filleting a whole round fish on YouTube, it looks incredibly easy.  It can be, though, if you can push past any queasiness of the fish looking up at you while you grotesquely hack up several whole fish figuring out the process.

And even after you think you’ve figured it out, there are days like last Friday where you have basically forgotten how to ride the bike and swerve uncontrollably into a trash can.

So what say you ESers? Am I just wasting my time and perfectly good fish by messing around with my own fillets? Should I leave it to the fish mongers? Produce another Friday Fuck Up? Keep trying it myself?

A decent salvage after the jump.


Handle bars still wobbly, but can still ride.

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  • C. Christy Concrete June 12, 2009  

    Somebody call CSI!

  • erica June 12, 2009  

    what do you do with the rest of the fish?

  • Bliz June 12, 2009  

    With white fish once the guts and head are removed you can make fish stock, otherwise it’s a nice treat for some alley cats.

    Or if you run a prison you can feed the inmates pickled fish heads.

  • Nick June 12, 2009  

    I’ve seen worse. I think you should keep doing it. It’s a good skill to have. If you are ever on Iron Chef, they don’t fillet that shit for you…

  • erica June 12, 2009  

    whoa, pickled fish heads! i once had lunch on board a Phillipino flag vessel called the M/V Fairy Angel and was served whole fish; eyes, scales, and all.

  • erica June 12, 2009  

    i’m not saying you should do that! i’m just saying it was interesting and this reminded me of it.

  • KMango June 12, 2009  

    Keep filleting your own. You’re more likely to have a larger variety than if you relied on the “fillet only” options at the counter. Plus, you’ll look like a ninja to your dinner guests. A gut-flinging, scale-scraping, stinky ninja, but still, mystique points ++.

  • dad gansie June 15, 2009  

    hell the filet looks good…who cares about the skin/body
    you’re not serving it as a whole fish anyway, right??

    keep cutting away, just watch out for bones

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