How to fillet salmon

Having caught or maybe even bought a Salmon you are delighted that you have salmon as a lunch, but before  adorning the tabletop with it, you need to cook it and if you were lucky enough to catch it yourself, you will need to fillet it. Filleting a salmon like any other large round fish is not a hard task but technical to some extent. You need a little experience and practice before doing this job

Salmon filleting requirements

The list of requirements that are important for filleting a salmon are given below:

A salmon

Nothing beats a freshly caught Salmon, but even one from a fishmongers can be delicious. Take off the head and tail and let all the blood out of the body. The best way to do this is to cut the gills when you catch it. Now for the next steps, your fillet knife and fillet knife sharpener must be ready for fulfilling the task.

Plain and strong work surface

You must choose a surface that is plain and easy to clean. High-density polyethylene is known as a familiar work surface due to its high strength. Traditional kitchen tables and ironing tables must be avoided for filleting jobs. The cutting board must be large enough to fulfil this task. 

Sharp fillet knife

Choose the fillet knife that is compatible with your job. The size of the knife must match the salmon size. The knife must be sharp enough to overcome all types of hurdles such as bones and ribs. The blades must not be too hard to lose the meat, it must be flexible and strong to complete all types of the task properly. Sharper knife gives effortless cutting with zero friction between meat and fillet knife blade.

Fillet knife sharpener

A good quality fillet knife sharpener must be ready if you want breathless and smooth work. The manufacturing material of the fillet knife sharpener must be strong and durable. The better the quality the less time it will take to complete the task.


Specialised filleting Gloves are an essential part for the job. You must put it on before filleting if you want neat and clean work. They save you from any type of danger like cutting and slipping. Plus, gloves keep the meat hygienic and germ-free.

Now move towards the steps that are needed for filleting the salmon professionally.

Steps for filleting salmon

  1. Put on the gloves. Take off the head and tail first; Startup your filleting job from the head side.
  2. Hold the head up, start from the left upper head side for filleting.
  3. Keep cutting the salmon along the spine by continuously inner and outer sawing motion. Hold the flitting knife tightly for smooth and plain cutting of salmon.
  4. When you reach the end of the belly put your hand to the side of the salmon. This ensures smooth cutting. When you are done, lift the upper fillet.
  5. Now, the belly area is in front of your eyes. Repeat the whole process for cutting the second fillet. When you have done, lift the second fillet up.
  6. Then you reach the upper end of the spine, keep cutting the salmon over the whole spine. Continue the process until the upper fillet is separated from the spine.
  7. When it is done you can see salmon without meat. The two sides are separated and ready for grilling.
  8. Now it is time to remove the collar and rib bones from the salmon. Separate the collar in the vertical direction. Don’t throw it because they taste yummy when grilled.
  9. You can remove the rib bones by repeating the sweeping motion of the fillet knife. Keep in mind the motion must be against the rib bones. When you put the pressure by the free hand, you can get rid of all rib bones. This is one of the best methods that are used for removing rib bones on a professional scale.
  10. Now you can put some salts, black pepper, and sauces on salmon for good taste. It is ready for grilling; the delicious grilled salmon is ready to be served on your tabletop.


Always use a sharp fillet knife for flitting purposes to promote effortless work. It requires some practice for smooth and plain cutting. Let salmon bones guide you for cutting. Be mindful, you have perfect hand placement while flitting the salmon. If you feel that you cannot handle the filleting, stop working at once. 

Additionally, the knives and sharpener must be strong with good texture. By considering the above guidelines you will be able to fulfil the flitting job like a professional. A little knowledge and some practice are enough for you to be regularly filleting fish with confidence.

You can also check out our video on how to fillet a fish

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