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How to Clean a Fish


While the lead photo is a bit misleading, the rest of this post is quite informative. This method is tried, true, and incredibly easy. Promise. Also, this post contains images of dead fish. Consider yourself warned.


We begin with tilapia. Tilapia is not a sophisticated fish. If tilapia starred in a film, it would be played by Jeff Bridges in a bathrobe and it would write 69 cent checks in the grocery store. That’s right, I just managed to reference the Big Lebowski in a post about cleaning fish.

Applaud here.

I’ll wait.




See what I mean? That’s one humble fish.

To start, it’s important to have a sharp thin-blade knife and a plastic/glass cutting board. We like to use the plastic cutting boards with the tail clip on one end but they aren’t required. If you want one, I suggest buying it from your local tackle shop or ordering it from Amazon.

My husband was gracious enough to let me film him cleaning a tilapia from one of our aquaponics tanks. There are two videos. If you can’t open them, feel free to yell at me in the comment section and I will upload them to Youtube then repost. Just let me know. If you are trying to view them from a mobile device, try clicking on the link above the video and it will open in Flickr. I hope that helps!

Part One, Removing the Scales:

Part Two, How to Fillet

First fillet next to another tilapia.



DSC_0245Look at that! A gorgeous tilapia fillet that’s ready to season and toss in a hot cast iron skillet. I’ll post more on that later.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of Josh “fishing” in our backyard:




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