How To Cut & Serve a Whole Fish

The key to extracting the delicate meat from a whole fish is to gently remove the skeleton. Here's how to do it in four simple steps!
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1. You can try this fool-proof deboning technique with our Oven-Roasted Whole Fish recipe.

With the fish on a platter or work surface, use a knife to cut about halfway deep into the fish along the spine. Note that the spine runs head to tail about halfway between the belly and the back.

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2. Use your knife, a fork or a soup spoon to gently scrape along the spine towards the back, removing the flesh in chunks. Transfer the flesh to plates. Use the same method to scrape off the flesh between the spine and the belly.

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3. Gently lift the tail, using your knife, fork or spoon to separate the flesh so that it stays on the platter. Continue down the spine, separating it from the flesh and lifting away the tail, spine and head.

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4. Gently scrape away any fin bones along the belly or back. Transfer the remaining flesh to plates. Remind your guests to watch for any remaining bones.