PROCESS A FLATFISH!
Filleting a whole fish for the first time can be a bit intimidating. It requires some knife skills, some basic understanding of anatomy, and some idea of what the end product should look like. You have to be willing to get your hands a little dirty. Filleting a flat fish for the first time is a whole different experience. The anatomy is foreign and doesn’t seem to make any sense. You get four small fillets instead of two large fillets. The top fillets don’t match the bottom ones. There are several choices of what the end product can look like. Despite all of this, the flatfish is actually much easier to do well than a standard shaped fish. Even a novice fish butcher should be able to easily fillet a flatfish with almost no waste.
Please see my skills lesson on how to process flatfish HERE.
First, decide what you plan to do with the fish. If you want to roast it whole or panfry it whole, this is going to be the easiest fish cleaning you’ve ever done. If you want to stuff it, you’ll need a little finesse but it won’t be too bad. If you want to fillet it, you’ll have to spend a little more time, but in general it is still pretty foolproof. Once you know how you want the fish to look at the end, simply follow my step by step directions. They work for any variety of flat fish.
This exercise will help you get more familiar with a group of fish that are often ignored in the home kitchen. It will help you get comfortable with processing whole animals. It will have very little waste, which is something that should be important to anyone eating animal products. It will also help develop some advanced knife skills. This double dog dare might be tough for the squeamish aspiring seafood cooks out there, but I encourage you to get uncomfortable and give it a try. It’s easier than you might think.