How do you filet a boneless northern pike?


Quick Answer

Make a vertical cut behind the head and toward, but not through, the backbone. Turn the knife horizontally, and cut along the top of the backbone. Remove the center bones with a V-shaped cut along each side. Cut downward along the bones on either side of the backbone. Work down and over the ribs to remove the flank fillet. Do this on each side. Cut from the dorsal fin to the tail on each side to remove the final fillets.

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Full Answer

The bone structure of a pike is different from any other fish; therefore, a special technique of filleting is necessary. This technique produces five boneless fillets per pike.

After removing each of the five fillets, you can skin them. Place them skin-side down on the cutting board, and carefully slide the edge of you knife between the flesh and the skin, holding the back of your fillet with your gloved hand. Simply slide the knife to the front of the fillet to separate the flesh of the fillet from the skin.

The following equipment is necessary: a fillet knife, filleting glove, cutting board, vacuum sealer and a trash receptacle to discard the entrails in.

When choosing a knife to fillet your pike, opt for a knife with flexible blade, a hard grip, and a longer blade, roughly 8-10 inches. For the filleting glove, the type of glove used in commercial meat processing is all you need, as it helps your grip and prevents and nicks and cuts. For your cutting board, choose one that is large and has a smooth surface to allow for easy skinning and cleaning. If you are not planning to cook/eat all of your fillets right away, a vacuum sealer is the most effective way to preserve your fish without compromising the quality.

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