A fillet o’ fish and a frying pan


Count me among the lazy cooks who would prefer to buy a beautiful cleaned, filleted, ready-to-cook piece of fish.  I never really saw any reason to know how to fillet a whole fish – that’s for those crazy people that get up at 0-dark-thirty and go fishing out in the middle of nowhere.  But me? The local grocery store fishmonger is my friend and does all the dirty work.

If you’ve been reading along the past few months, you know that most of these such rules I’ve lived by have been thrown out the window during my Good Fish cooking/blogging project.  And today is no different, as I must face filleting a fish head on, so to speak!

Due to the continued scarcity of local arctic char, I substituted trout for today’s Pan-Fried Char with Crispy Mustard Crust (pg 180).  It’s a simple, basic, #1 recipe that can be knocked out in no time at all, and have you sitting at the table, sipping on your sauv blanc, enjoying the beauty of a simple, well-prepared fish fillet.

Unless of course, you buy the trout in whole fish form and have to break that baby down into fillets, the hard way.  And that I did, although I’m not sure why…but what I do know is that I couldn’t have done it without Becky’s excellent “How To Fillet a Fish” video. She breaks down both a large salmon and a small trout during the short video, and after watching it through twice, I was ready to do the dirty deed.


I admit it’s a little disconcerting to have the fish eyes staring at you while you gut the little guy, but it’s work that must be done if you want to enjoy the final product, right?  After a few mishaps here and there, I not only filleted the fish fairly well, but then skinned it too (there’s a video for that too!) so I could pull off the recipe correctly.

The fillets get a brushing with lemon-mustard coating, then a quick dusting in panko and they are ready to fry up in the old cast iron pan in a matter of minutes.  Becky includes a simple lemon butter recipes to top the finished fillets, making this a quick and easy dinner dish for anyone to prepare.

I’d love to know…What’s the last new kitchen/cooking skill you’ve learned?

Related Posts:


Speak Your Mind


Copyright 2011 Karen Rosenzweig