Filleting-Do you get the bellies on the fillet?

Chitina

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Just curious if people do the quick fillet or the more full fillet with the bellies intact with the rest of the fillet. I was shown the bellies filleting and was somewhat shocked that Hem's fish cleaning station does the quick fillet(unless you make a point of asking for bellies) Also know of a guide(kings) on the Gulkana(thats off the Richardson just above Glenallen for you Kenai and Anch guys) that keeps the bellies for himself unless people insist.
 

AKArcher

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Bellies...

Bellies...

I start off taking the time to keep the bellies on the fillet (butterfly fillet) ...but after about 10 or 15 fish, I just peel the fillet off the ribs and leave the bellies.
 

profishguide

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I keep the bellies on mine always, its the way I fillet all my customers fish, its also a high fat area of the fish and is the best for the Bar-b-q.
 

Paul H

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Nothing better than smoked belly meat, I couldn't imagine tossing it.

I'd just as well catch less fish and get all the meat off, then catch more and waste it.
 

sal

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Another vote for keeping the bellies

Another vote for keeping the bellies

As a matter of fact, the bellies are my favorite. More fat=more flavor. Especially on the BBQ, smoked and pickled. It's a waste in my mind to carve them up without the bellies. Takes more time, but heck...it's worth it when you consider all you did to catch the buggers in the first place.
 
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wildog

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Meat or Fat?

Meat or Fat?

sal said:
As a matter of fact, the bellies are my favorite. More fat=more flavor. Especially on the BBQ, smoked and pickled. It's a waste in my mind to carve them up without the bellies. Takes more time, but heck...it's worth it when you consider all you did to catch the buggers in the first place.

OK, I'll try it, even though it looks gross. Keep the fins on? I guess you can't take the skin off very easily, can you? Is the meat red? Is it meat, or fat? When I eat a pork chop I'd throw up if I took a big bite of fat, so...
 
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homerdave

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smoke 'em

smoke 'em

i always save my bellies aside until i have a smoker load, or enough for special brine batch.
use a lot of ginger (through a garlic press), garlic, and molasses. baste with maple syrup just before they are done....nothing better!!!
smoked feeder king bellies in the winter...WOWZA!!!
 

Paul H

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The meat is red (flesh colored), and has a sweat taste, not fatty.
 

fullbush

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Nothing better than smoked belly meat, I couldn't imagine tossing it.

I'd just as well catch less fish and get all the meat off, then catch more and waste it.

I hear ya paul, its just craziness to throw away the belly. They should lose all fishing rights for that kind of wanton waste.
 

bilder

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The bellies are the best part of the fish! Like others have said, great grilled, pickled, or smoked.

I always keep them and woe to the person who goes out fishing with me and tries to throw away the belly meat.
 

y0gee

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Yummy!!!!

Yummy!!!!

The bellies are the best part IMO..... people who toss them out are crazy! I process all my fish at home. While I'm cleaning fish, one of my buddies are BBQ those tasty bellies along with the collars! ****, I'm getting hungry now!
 

oldakcop

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Belly meat

Belly meat

Chop the belly meat (think "burger"), mix with a raw egg, and press into patties a little larger than the size of your hamburger buns. Grill over an open wood fire with a teryaki based BBQ sauce :)! Don't waste 'em!
 

Paul H

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Forgot to mention I even keep most of the heads for fish head soup. They also make good bait.
 

BrownBear

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We split our reds from the back, leaving the two fillets connected at the bellies. Later we cut the belly off as one piece and freeze it separate from the loins, all that is produced in a quick fillet (read: total waste) method. Bellies are the best part and we make meals of nothing but the bellies. Never even get to the loins till we run out of bellies.

I hear you on the heads too, Paul.

We also take the carcasses, hack them into 3 or 4 pieces, then quick fry them and pick off the meat. The sweetest meat is next to the bone, donchaknow. Livers and hearts are fried like chicken livers and hearts, and the roe goes to caviar. Never developed a taste for milt, so that goes with the gills and guts, about all we toss on a red. Or a silver. Or a dog. Or a king.
 

samsoniam

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Nothing better than smoked belly meat, I couldn't imagine tossing it.

^^ True wisdom^^

I filet the left side of the fish completely, then cut that side away from the belly. The belly then comes off with the other side. Then I cut the belly away from the right filet and bag for the smoker.
 

samsoniam

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^^I've eaten hooligan milt. It isn't bad at all. In fact, I liked it better than the hooligan meat.
 

Paul H

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Yeah we also keep the roe. Starting the day with a toasted bagel, cream cheese, a heap of fresh cavier and a strong cup of coffee, few things are finer.

I have had roe prepared by a friend that wasn't too bad. I tried to prepare it once, didn't much care for it, and the kids don't seem to have a problem getting rid of the milt with the guts, and retaining the roe in gallon ziplock bags.
 

samsoniam

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Yeah we also keep the roe. Starting the day with a toasted bagel, cream cheese, a heap of fresh cavier and a strong cup of coffee, few things are finer.

I have had roe prepared by a friend that wasn't too bad. I tried to prepare it once, didn't much care for it.....

It's funny, but I don't remember trying roe or seeing many others do so. I always keep it for winter ice fishing bait or chum, but never tried preparing it. Do you know of any recipes for making caviar out of salmon roe? I'd be interested to try it.
 
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