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       Title: Smoking Salmon And Trout Part II - Filleting and Boning
  Categories: Fish, Smoke, Info
       Yield: 1 text file
 
   A very sharp knife [and a whet stone and a sharpening steel nearby] is
   essential.
 
   ~1- Skin on Fillets: Begin at the vent [anus] making a cut on either
   side of the anal fin just deep enough to reach the backbone. make
   these cuts all the way back to the tail.
 
   Start the next cut where the head has been removed on top of the
   backbone. Cut through the fish, from back to belly, lengthways right
   down to the tail. You will run into the belly bones which get tougher
   as the fish gets bigger. Here is where the *sharp* knife comes in; it
   must be able to cut through the belly bones easily. As you continue
   the cut from head to tail work the knife along the backbone with the
   cutting edge slightly slanted towards the bone.
 
   Remove the first fillet, turn the fish over and cut the second fillet.
   There should be very little meat left on the backbone.
 
   Now the belly bones can be removed without loosing any meat. this
   leaves you a boneless fillet except for the line of long, thin bones
   just above where the backbone used to be. You can feel their sharp
   ends with your fingertip.
 
   These last bones can be lifted out in a strip by making a cut on
   either side of the row _just_ to the skin. This final deboning will
   somewhat spoil the fillet in appearance and utility when making
   smoked products that are thinly sliced. A more finicky method is to
   remove these bones one at a time with small needle nose pliers. If
   the bones don't pull out of the flesh readily, you can do it after
   smoking.
 
   ~2- Easy Skinless Fillets: [This section by JW not the author.] Most
   smoke recipes call for skin on fillets but for sauteing, frying,
   poaching and grilling fresh fish the easiest way to get a skinless
   fillet with just a little waste is as follows:
 
   Start with whole fish, uncleaned and head on. Make the first cut just
   below the gills done to the backbone at a slight angle. Turn the
   knife and cut along the backbone to the tail at a slight angle so as
   to “float” over the belly bones. Stop just short of the tail and peel
   back the skin-on fillet without tearing it away from where it is
   attached to the fish at the tail. Lay the fillet on the table skin
   side down and start a cut at the tail. Cut down to but not through
   the skin and turn the blade sideways. Cut the fillet away from the
   skin and continue back up the fillet to the other end.
 
   Turn over the fish and repeat. Be careful throughout not to puncture
   the intestines, bladder or stomach. You should now have two skinless
   fillets with the guts still attached to the carcass. This way you do
   not have to scale or clean and you loose only a small amount of meat
   and belly skin. This works best on larger fish say 4 lb and up. -JW
 
   ~3- Defatting Fat Fish: Salmon and trout are fat fish and you *may*
   want to defat them for various reasons- to adhere to a low fat diet
   or remove contaminants that may be concentrated in the fat tissues of
   fish from certain waters. To do this, when you fillet, leave plenty
   of meat on the backbone where the meat is especially fat. Cut off the
   belly portion. Skin the fillet leaving about 1/8 meat on the skin.
   Make cuts on either side of the lateral line, lift it out and discard
   it.
 
   ~4- Boning Small Trout:
 
   French Presentation I - Through the back with the belly uncut. Start
   by snipping the fins off with scissors. With a small knife cut the
   gills loose at the throat. With your fingers pull the gills loose
   along with most of the intestines. Make a cut along one side of the
   backbone, working the meat loose from the bone and all the way to the
   belly without cutting the belly skin. Repeat on the other side. with
   scissors snip the backbone as close to the tail as possible and then
   again at the head. Now you can finish cleaning the belly cavity with
   your fingers and the fish with head and tail on is ready for smoking
   or cooking.
 
   French Presentation II- Boning through the belly. After cleaning,
   start by making a cut from the vent, along each side of the backbone
   to the tail. Then work the meat loose from the rib cage and along the
   backbone to but not through the skin of the back. Then snip off the
   backbone close to the tail. Pull the bone free up to the head and
   snip off. Scissor off the fins. Ready for smoking or cooking.
 
   Extracted from: Smoking Salmon & Trout by Jack Whelan. Published by:
   Airie Publishing, Deep Bay, B.C. ISBN: 0-919807-00-3 Posted by: Jim
   Weller
 
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