Clean and scale fish

This is a pretty messy job as the scales fly everywhere, so try to do this outside or somewhere easy to clean. If not you could be picking scales off the walls for months to come!

When you buy a fish from the fishmongers, you should clean it as soon as you get home and aim to eat it as soon as possible. The sooner it is cleaned, the longer it will last.

All you need is a bowl for the waste, a pair of gloves, a good pair of scissors, a small knife and some cold running water. We cleaned 3 shimmering red snappers, but the same principles apply to many other types of fish. Always be careful cleaning fish as the flesh is quite delicate and is easily damaged.


Hold the fish firmly and cut the tail off with the sciscors.


Work around the whole fish removing all the fins. Be careful, they are quite sharp and can puncture your skin.


The fish without it´s tail or fins should look like this.



Using the knife scrape the fish from the tail to the gills. Use short strokes and do it gently so you don´t damage the delicate flesh. Do this all over the fish removing all the scales. Rinse the fish under gently running water to clean.



This is the really messy part. Put the knife into the anus and cut lengthways, towards the head.


Stop cutting when u reach the gills.


Reach in and pull the entrails out, cleaning the cavity out with your fingers and with running water.


Pull out the gills too, as they make the fish go off faster and can give it a bitter flavor.

This is what you should be left with…


Ready to cook, cleaned fish!