How to Fillet Salmon

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Salmon needs to be filleted in a very specific way during preparation. Learn how to fillet a salmon with help from a celebrity chef who trained at the Culinary Institute of America in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Brian. I'm from Trellis of Heathman Hotel in Kirkland. And I'm here to show you how to fillet a salmon. From the pacific northwest we have some of the most amazing fish. This is a wild king salmon. When you're buying salmon, if you're buying the whole fish, something really important to look for a clarity in the eye. It shows that our fish is fresh. Here I like to buy troll caught salmon and this is, troll caught, meaning that it's caught on the line, so that the fish is not thrashed around. and we really have a beautiful product. So, I'm going to start out by just removing the head and the gill area. And we cut right underneath the gill and through the bone. Going to turn our fish over. You want to make sure you have a dry surface so the fish is not sliding around, and that you keep a firm hold on it while you're doing this. We're just going to remove the head and the gills. Going to position the salmon in front of me, going to make sure that it's dry underneath so that it doesn't slide. I'm going to lift the belly up towards me, put my knife, angling my knife with the blade up, just to start on the top of the rib bone. Once I get a feel for the edge of the knife on the bone, I'm going to very slowly slide the knife down along that center bone, very carefully all the way to the end. And we're going to flip off our fillet. And that's our top fillet of salmon. I'm going to take the other side and just set it here for a moment. Now, what we want to do is we want to remove the belly. So, I'm going to slide my knife very carefully, right along that belly skin. Now the belly can be reserved for smoking, if you like to smoke salmon, the belly's beautiful for that. And it also has a high fat content. And we're just going to cut right through our skin, remove that, trim down here. Now, I got a little bit of bone from the center bone. I'm going to put my knife underneath it, going to grab that bone and follow it right up to remove it. Now, we want to trim up the back part of our salmon, just take that fin off right there and remove our pin bones. So, the best way to remove the pin bones is just feel them up.. take, you can feel your hand, you can feel the bones, and a pair of pliers, and these are just utility pliers that I keep in the kitchen, only for working with fish. And you just grab the end of the bone and pull it right out. And you can follow the bones all the way down through the fish until you've removed them all. I ask, usually when I go to the fish marker, I ask that the fish.. fish market remove the scales and I leave the skin on the salmon. It's absolutely beautiful when you're sauteing or your grilling. And we just follow these all the way down, I want to make sure we don't miss any. Get that last one right out there, the bones. And there we have a beautiful fillet of salmon.


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