How to fillet round fish (mackerel, trout, etc.)

Round fish include fish such as mackerel, sea bass, sea bream, haddock, mullet, pollack, snapper and John Dory. When filleting round fish, use a very sharp and slightly flexible knife.

-Slice around the head of the fish on one side, cutting through the meat until the knife meets the bones.

-With the tip of the knife flush against the backbone, slice the fish from the head to the tip of the tail in one smooth movement.

-With the tip of the knife, use gentle sweeping motions to gradually cut the fillet away from the body, working from the backbone to the belly.

-Turn the fish over and repeat the process, but start from the tail end of the fish and work towards the head.

-Trim the fillets by removing the fins at the bottom.

See recipe in full

Grilled mackerel with new potatoes and salad Grilled mackerel with new potatoes and salad

By James Martin

Recipes using this technique

Main course

Skill level


Equipment you will need for this technique

  • Chopping board
  • Sharp, flexible knife

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