Found whole flounder yesterday at the market and haven't cooked that in a long time so I thought I would give it a go.  I also wanted to show people that butchering a fish is not that difficult.  You just need to have a few things in mind.  One, you need a really sharp knife and good clean work space.  Two, not being scared to get your hands dirty.  That's about it! I'll try and show you most of the steps to cleaning this gulf flounder.  First you want the butcher to scale and de-gut the fish for you unless you would like to do that.  I was in a hurry so I told the guy to just scale it because he looked like he was struggling with the rest.

1. Run your knife down the spine of the fish just to get it started.   Letting your knife run along the back bone of the fish.  When you come to the tail make a little slash across it where the meat starts and fin stops.

2.Turn the fish around and do the same thing with the bottom of the fish

3. Cut behind the head and gills starting from the top to the bottom of the fish, this step can be done first but I wanted to show you without all the guts.

4. Then continue to run your knife down the back bone of the fish and the filet should start to pull away from the body


Shouldn't leave meat on the body if your using your knife and running it along the body of the fish

5. Flip over and repeat the same steps.  Run your knife along the top and bottom of the fish

Cutting behind the head and gills

Running your knife along the body of the fish to cut away the fillet

6. Once your have both the fillets then you want to take the skin off.  You start by grabbing the tail and holding it tight.  You take your knife and you want it at about a 20 degree angle, you don't want your knife to be completely parallel to the board.

Pulling the skin tightly towards you, start slicing the filet away from the skin in a smooth sawing motion.

Still using your death grip, pull the skin towards you and keep cutting away the filet

Skin should have no meat on it.

7.  You should be left with 2 filets, the first side should be a little more meaty than the bottom.  First I trim the sides for bones and the little flap of meat where the spine is.  Then I cut them down the middle using the natural line of the fish to remove any connective tissue and to portion out 4 to 5 ounce pieces.   This is what your left with.

Now your ready to cook.    I will share the stock and recipe for the flounder next.