How to Fillet Whole Salmon at Home

Andy Sartori , On April 6, 2023


Filleting a whole salmon can seem intimidating at first, but with practice, it can become a simple and rewarding task. The best way to learn how to fillet a salmon is through a video. See the video below or refer to the written instructions for how to fillet a whole fish salmon:

Kitchen Tools Needed to Fillet Salmon

  • Chef’s Knife

  • Cutting Board

  • Fish tweezers

How to Fillet Salmon Video Tutorial Step-by-Step

Instructions for How to Fillet Salmon

  1. Start by laying the salmon flat on a clean and sturdy surface, such as a cutting board.

  2. Using a sharp kitchen knife, make an incision behind the front fin/gill of the fish, starting from the bottom and running up to the spine. Be sure to cut deep enough to reach the bone.

  3. Once you’ve made the initial cut, turn the knife and cut along the spine of the fish until your blade reaches the tail of the salmon.

  4. Gently lift the fillet away from the bones.

  5. Remove the rib right above the belly and cut through any remaining connective tissue.

  6. Grab a pair of fish tweezers and feel for any bone that may be in the fish fillet. Using the fish tweezers remove the bone from the fish.

  7. Repeat the same process on the other side of the fish.

How to Remove Salmon Skin

To remove the skin, hold the fillet skin-side down and make a small cut between the skin and the flesh at the tail end. Then, using a back-and-forth motion, slide the knife between the skin and the flesh, keeping the blade flat against the skin.

Once you’ve removed the skin, you can further trim the fillets as desired. Alternatively, you can portion out your salmon with the skin to pan fry or to use as a mbake salmon.

Cuts of Salmon after Having Fillet Whole Salmon

After having fillet the whole fish you will be left with:

  • Salmon Fillet:

    • Salmon Belly: Most delicious tender part of the salmon. The salmon belly is rich in omega-3 and the fat content gives it the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness.

    • Salmon Loin: This is also referred to as salmon steak. Great for grilling, baking, or pan searing salmon.

    • Salmon Tail: This is a dry cut of salmon and can be used in a salmon salad or canned salmon. Alternatively serve with bbq sauce or teriyaki glaze to add moisture.

  • Salmon Head: Use to make some great tasting seafood soup.

In summary, filleting fish is a great if you can make use of each part of the salmon in one of your salmon recipe. If you can use every part of the fish filleting whole salmon is the most cost effective way to go!

Andy Sartori

With a personal mission to change the narrative of how we view food, farming, and health in the US. Andy is deeply rooted in wholesome, natural foods as the foundation to great nutrition.