How to clean/gut a whole fish! Hands-on!!!

How to clean/gut a whole fish! Hands-on!!!

Simple step-by-step instructions with pictures on how to clean/gut a fish.

Cleaning a fish is easy! Yes it is. Growing up along the Mediterranean cost, I have been watching my grandma and mom cleaning and gutting fresh-caught fish since I was a child. It was something that always fascinated me….Yes I was a weird kiddo.

Today I want to share with you basic information on how to clean and gut a whole fish, simple step-by-step instructions which will help you learn how to prep you fish before cooking it!


Get your hands one some fresh, possibly wild-caught fish.
I got my whole sea bass on, they have a wild range of fresh seafood and fish now. Check it out!


Note: If you are going to grill your catch, you can skip this step. The scales will prevent the fish from sticking on the grill, will ensure a crispy skin (easy to remove) and a soft and moist inside flesh.

To begin, rest the fish on the table or cutting board. Grab a knife and work against the normal direction of the scales, raking up from tail to head. Think of a short, shallow, scoop motion, getting under the scales and pushing up and into them quickly to rake them out of the fish. Get both sides, the top, and bottom of the fish. It can help to scale under running water, or simply underwater in the sink, to prevent getting covered in scales…..


For this step, I like to use a pair of scissors, but a knife will also work. Cut a shallow incision from the anus up towards the head. The small hole on the belly of the fish, back near the tail, is the anus. Using a sharp knife, make a shallow cut from here along the belly of the fish, stopping at the base of the gills. Then put your fingers get in there and get everything out. Make sure to check inside to get out anything you missed: kidney, strands of innards along the walls, and more.


Just use your hands to pull out the fish gills from both sides.


Rinse your fish under running filtered water, scraping along the spine to make sure to have removed any blood vessels.

Your fish is ready to be cooked! You did it!





About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my 'left-overs' session for many tasty grub!. Follow her on Twitter / Facebook.