How to gut a fish

8 December 2014

How to gut a fish

The guts of a fish are inedible and need to be removed before cooking. It isn’t difficult to do but if you are squeamish, get your fishmonger to remove them for you. It is best to wear latex gloves to protect your hand when doing this. Washing the fish after gutting is also very important.


Remove the scales by rubbing up both sides of the fish with the back of a knife
Make an incision in the belly of the fish at the tail end and cut through the skin to the head
Remove the guts, roe and gills – you should be able to pull them out easily
Rinse the inside of the fish with cold running water until the water runs clear
Pat the fish dry with kitchen paper and cut off the fins


Scaling the fish in an open bin bag will keep the messy process contained and make it much easier to clear up afterwards.

After having a go at this technique try Dominic Chapman's grilled sea bass with fennel and dill or Nathan Outlaw's grilled sardines with paprika mayonnaise.

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