Learn how to clean freshly caught trout
My awesome friend, Scott McIntosh, gave me some beautiful trout from Strawberry Reservoir. Strawberry reservoir is located in the Uinta National Forest in Utah and has the best trout! He was so kind to clean them before he gave them to me, but I couldn’t write those instructions. To learn how to clean trout click on this website for detailed instructions.
Click here for instructions on how to clean a trout.
Cut the head off just before the Pectoral fin. This is an optional step, as some people want the head left on when cooking.
Hold fish with belly facing up. Using your fillet knife, cut from the anal hole forward towards where the head was or still is.
After pulling out the entrails. Take an old tooth brush or a spoon and clean the blood vein that runs along the spine. Brush or scrap the vein until it is cleaned out. If that is not cleaned out it, will affect the taste.
Rinse the trout thoroughly (inside and out) and prepare to cook as you wish.
How to clean the skin
If you like to eat the fish skin, make sure you remove all the fish scales before cooking. With the trout held firmly by the tail, scrape very firmly from the tail to the gills several times on both sides with a sharp knife. Scrap until all the gills are removed.
How to remove the bones
There are a couple of methods to debone a trout.
A search on the internet found a lot of websites teaching how to remove the bones from trout differently than I follow. Most of the methods were similar to this website link
That method of deboning wastes a lot of meat. Everyone I know debones trout the way I do but maybe we have a unique or old fashioned way of removing bones so I decided to post the instructions. These instructions take a little bit more time but it leaves most of the meat.
This printable file has more pictures and instructions than this web page.
Start by inserting the knife at the anal hole on the belly of the fish and cut the skin towards the tail.
Use a sharp knife to removing all of the fins except the fin on the top/back of the fish.
The back fin will be removed after the bones are taken out.
Cut the tail off
At the end of the fish where the head was attached, insert a sharp knife against the spine under the bone line. You will be able to see the knife under the bones. Bring the knife up from the spine towards the belly outside edge of the fish. Keep repeating along the spine and bones towards the tail of the fish.
There is another row of bones below the meat. Take the sharp edge of the knife and scrap along the next layer of bones pushing the meat back off the bones. As you did the first time, insert the knife under this next row of bones and lift the bones out of the meat.
Again, scrap the meat back to see the next row of bones. You should be at the spine center of the fish, and finished with that side of the fish.
Do the other side of the fish by following the same instructions above, or you can continue in the direction you have been working, as pictured at the left. Change the direction of the knife to match the direction the bones are running in.
Lift the bones out and sit aside to discard.
Run a knife under the bones along the middle where the spine used to be and cut away the fat and bones. This is when the back fin needs to be removed.
Hold the fish in one hand. With your other hand feel for any bones with your fingers. Pull the bones out one by one as you find them. While feeling around in the meat move the fish with your hand that is holding it because the movement pushes the bones up so you can feel them better.
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