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Welcome to my blog. I document my families adventures in Alaska. Hope you have a nice stay!

How To Fillet An Alaska Salmon

How To Fillet An Alaska Salmon

My husband does all of our salmon filleting. Here is a step by step guide for how to fillet a fish. It took him a few tries to get good at it. It is a skill. But here are some tips that will help you along the way.

  • get a cheap carpet, or small piece of leftover carpet to cut on. It helps to hold the fish in one place so it’s not sliding all over. My husband pretty much refuses to fillet without one now.

  • wear gloves! I cannot stress this enough, you don’t want to cut yourself.

  • get a good fillet knife. They are not all created equal.

  • cut on a table tall enough that your back will not start hurting you. Leaning over is a bad idea.

  • take your time, it will take time to get good at it.

Step 1: Catch a salmon.

Step 1: Catch a salmon.

Step 2: Lay the fish on it’s back and cut off the pelvic fin.

Step 2: Lay the fish on it’s back and cut off the pelvic fin.

…….. this is what it looks like once the pelvic fin is removed.

…….. this is what it looks like once the pelvic fin is removed.

Step 3: Remove the anal fin.

Step 3: Remove the anal fin.

Step 4: Turn the salmon over and remove the dorsal fin.

Step 4: Turn the salmon over and remove the dorsal fin.

Step 5: Remove the adipose fin.

Step 5: Remove the adipose fin.

Step 6: Slide the fillet knife right behind the pectoral fin, and right behind the gill cover.

Step 6: Slide the fillet knife right behind the pectoral fin, and right behind the gill cover.

Step 7: Slide the fillet knife down through the top of the head.

Step 7: Slide the fillet knife down through the top of the head.

Step 8: Flip the salmon over, and slide again behind the pectoral fin, and right behind the gill line.

Step 8: Flip the salmon over, and slide again behind the pectoral fin, and right behind the gill line.

Step 9: Firmly hold the body, and remove the head by pulling backwards.

Step 9: Firmly hold the body, and remove the head by pulling backwards.

Step 10: Slide the fillet knife right down the salmon just on top of the spine.

Step 10: Slide the fillet knife right down the salmon just on top of the spine.

Step 11: Cut all the way down the salmon

Step 11: Cut all the way down the salmon

Step 12: Lay the fish open, and remove the organs.

Step 12: Lay the fish open, and remove the organs.

Step 13: This is called slabbing the salmon. Lay down the side that still has the backbone, and slide down the fish going along the top of the backbone.

Step 13: This is called slabbing the salmon. Lay down the side that still has the backbone, and slide down the fish going along the top of the backbone.

Step 14: Lay the salmon with the scales down and start to cut along the top of the rib bone.

Step 14: Lay the salmon with the scales down and start to cut along the top of the rib bone.

Step 15: Flip the salmon slab over, and continue to follow the rib bones with shallow cuts until the ribs are removed.

Step 15: Flip the salmon slab over, and continue to follow the rib bones with shallow cuts until the ribs are removed.

Step 16: Continue with the other side. I should note that sometimes we remove the bellies, and sometimes we don’t. The bellies are often thrown away by people…but we smoke them! They are like fish bacon when smoked. They are soooo delicious.

Step 16: Continue with the other side. I should note that sometimes we remove the bellies, and sometimes we don’t. The bellies are often thrown away by people…but we smoke them! They are like fish bacon when smoked. They are soooo delicious.

Step 17: In order to be able to handle the salmon easier, we cut a finger sized slit near the tail end.

Step 17: In order to be able to handle the salmon easier, we cut a finger sized slit near the tail end.

Step 18: You are done! I hope this was helpful!

Step 18: You are done! I hope this was helpful!

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