Food & Drink

How to Debone a Trout

Trout is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and contains low amounts of harmful mercury. The only obstacles when preparing a trout dinner is removing the bones in the fish. You can debone a trout easily and without creating a mess if you use the right technique. You can enjoy fresh-caught more often after learning how to debone a trout. Here is a complete deboning guide and a few recipes of how to prepare a trout.

How to Debone a Trout


Removing the Bone When It's Raw

You will need a sharp knife, tweezers, and a cutting board.

Step 1: Cut the head off just below the gills and then slice the fish down to the belly. Place your fingers inside the cut under the place where you cut the head off. Use your thumb and forefinger to remove the fish guts. Open both sides of the fish and use your hand again to remove all remaining innards from top to tail.

Step 2: Turn the fish over so that its back faces upward. Separate both sides to form a butterfly-shape. Check the bone structure that runs down its center.

Step 3: Cut along both sides of the spinal bone structure with a sharp knife to loosen it. You can make fillets by slicing along the bone structure on both sides. For a butterflied fish, separate the spine by running the knife from the bottom of the bone structure and the top of its flesh.

Step 4: Pull and discard the spine. The main bone structure has been removed but some bones remain in the soft flesh on both sides. Locate these bones with your fingers.

Step 5: Place the tip of your knife on any side of the bones and then run the knife horizontally to the full length of the fish. Run your knife on the other side of the bone. Use tweezers to pull out one bone at a time in one continuous piece. Repeat the process on the other fillet.

Step 6: Use tweezers to pick any remaining bones before preparing the fish.


Removing the Bone After Cooking

You can also debone a trout after cooking it. Follow these steps:-

Step 1: Smaller trouts that can easily be cooked whole. You can cook them first and then do the deboning later. Therefore, cooking the fish whole is the first step. 

Step 2: Once the fish is fully cooked, you can lay it on its side. The fish tail should be facing you.

Step 3: Then lift the fish tail, slowly at an acute angle while taking care not to break its spindle. At the same time, you can simultaneously pull down on the flesh at the bottom of the tail's base. 

Step 4: If you follow step 3 carefully, the spine should easily pull away from the flesh with the ribs remaining intact. Even the smallest bones, the size of hair, can perfectly be removed in this manner. 

Step 5: Repeat the same process by turning the fish over to work on the second side of your fish. 

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