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Thread: salmon filleting how-to

  1. #1

    Default salmon filleting how-to

    Anyone know of a step by step guide (preferably with pictures illustrating each step) for cutting up a salmon the way the Native Alaskans do. That is, cut up for drying with the two fillets attached to and hanging from the tail?

  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default shearej

    Perhaps I can help, but I don' 'ave the pics...yet...

    Head & gut as usual, & clean (I scale my fish as well.) I then place the fish dorsal (top fin) facing me, gut cut away from me. I then proceed, with a very long sharp knife cut 'bout a 1/8" away on the top side, of the dorsal fin, straight down from the fin towards the head, or head cut (heads gone by now) being careful not to cut on the other side of the vertebrae. (If I find I did that I just insert my knife on the side I am makin' the fillet & angle my knife down towards the bone) I continue to cut all the way to the tail, 'bout 1.5" to 2" deep, lifting carefully (The meat can separate if you pull on it too much) the meat from the bone, & then make slicing cuts down the vertebral line.

    I then work to cut the "eye" bones off the vertebral column, & work my way down the rib bones, always angling my knife down towards the bone, to ensure enough meat off the bone. I do this the whole way down the fish working my cuts towards the tail. Once I get past the anus, I stop, pull my knife out & then cut the fin on the bottom of the fish nearest the tail fin, above the fin itself to prevent cutting between the bone. I then proceed back to where I left off & cut to the tail, & wouldn't slice through, as this will be hung, I leave the flesh on the fish, flip it & start the same procedure again on the other side.

    Once you get to the tail, you then move the meat away from the skeleton, & then make your cut on the vertebral column nearest the tail as you can. If this is a king salmon, you have to remove much of the upper meat, as the back portion of the king is pretty thick & won't dry evenly if left on. You will need to cut the meat so that the meat that's left on the fillet gives an even appearance to the belly meat & back to the tail. (Natives will hang dry the center cut meat, flipping the meat numerous times in order to dry consistently.

    You won't need to do this with chum, red, silver, or pinks.

  3. #3
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Cut down both sides of the back bone cutting off the ribs Cut from bottom of head up to the spine. Lift upwards on the head pulling the spin and guts out and sever the spine at the tail. You now have a one piece to split as you want for hanging
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you


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