Saturday, August 04, 2012


This is a "How To Do It" post and may not be that interesting for my regular readers ... or maybe you have always wondered about flounder fileting ... hmmmm?

This is the follow up.

First, catch or gig some nice LEGAL flounder.

Using a sharp, filet knife, make an incision down the spine from head to tail.
Then slide the flexible, very sharp filet knife along the ribs on either side of the spine to release the filet from the ribs.
Do this on both sides of the fish.
The underside (white) side of the flounder will yield thinner filets than the dark top side, but you don't want to waste that meat.

Here's the flounder flipped over with the two filets already off of the dark top side.
When your filet is free of the ribs, just take your knife and cut it loose from the edge.

You may like the skin on your filet, in which case, YOU will have to scale this fish. I did not show scaling, because I skin, rather than scale my fish.

Here is a skinned filet and the skin.

(Note: Do find yourself a better work surface than the battered picnic table I show in these photos. It was all that was available at that location)

The finished product, a skinless, boneless, delicious filet of flounder.

You should get 4 filets per fish.
If you can't get useable filets from the white underside, then the fish was too small and you never should have taken it.
Really big flounder will have cheeks that are worth extracting too.

The finished, fileted, flounder frame is not trash.
You are looking at the source of an excellent fish stock.
Just stew it until all that floundery goodness has leached out and turned plain ol' tap water into a delicious fish broth.
I use mine in my Minorcan Clam Chowder.

You can freeze the frames and make stock whenever you need it.

If you filet carefully and also make stock from the frame, than nothing is wasted, except the precious spark that made this a live flounder a few hours before.

That is the thinking predator's lament I suppose.


tai haku said...

That's an awesome how to. Now I just need to catch myself some flatties!

threecollie said...

Nice! Matt and Lisa do bass and pan fish every year at camp and feed us with a fantastic outdoor-camp-cookin'-on-a-wood fire fish fry. One of the high points of the year.

Robbie said...

That is an excellent guide! Makes me want to take a trip out to my favorite flounder spot this weekend.

Caroline said...

We had the fun of watching our 3.5 year old grandson catch a batch of yellow perch on his first ever fishing trip last week. His Papa Dave is skilled like you are with a filet knife, so we all had a taste of perch for dinner, tasty! Clam Chowder from fresh fish stock sounds delish.
Rule of camp fishing...them who catches it, cleans it. I got to do the fish frying after that.

Aunty Belle said...

Ah....clever fella--ya' know to use the bones fer stock--good fish stock is a treasure in the freezer.

Youse havin' a grand summer, I reckon. Thanks fer takin' us'uns along.

Dina J said...

I thought flounder came from the grocery store. You know, in the seafood section.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks Tai! They are pretty awesom fish.

Fresh caught fish near where you caught them ... fantastic.

Hey Robbie,
Thanks! I hope you get out there.
Just leave me a few! Tight lines!

Little kids and fishing gives me warm fuzzies. That is great!

It has been pretty swell. I was a late comer to the wonder of fish stock, but I'm a convert.

Well, I had heard that too, but assumed it was some sort of urban legend.

Miz S said...

FC, you are a clever fellow. In the post-apocalyptic world, I want you on my team. You will be in charge of feeding the group. I will be in charge of hand-flapping.