whole fish

How to Properly Scale a Fish Using the Dull Side of a Knife

One of the pros to buying whole fish at the grocery store is the chance to fillet the fish yourself and choose what kinds of cuts you want to get from it. However, with this freedom comes the task of descaling your fish. Descaling is exactly what it sounds like, taking the scales off the fish as a way to clean and prepare it. Removing the scales both ensures better flavors and less chance of ingesting harmful germs. But it can be a pain to do and quickly become a tedious task. You can make the process easier by using the dull side of your knife to remove the scales.

You’ve probably never considered the dull side of your knife a valuable cooking tool, but when used right it can be a great multifunctional tool. To use the dull side to descale your fish, run the dull side of the knife down your fish. This will loosen and flick off the scales. This is a great option if you don’t have a proper fish scale remover. You’ll want to apply a small amount of pressure as you do this to really get the scales off, but you don’t need to press your knife too hard into the skin. You can use a small knife for this task for more control as you go down the fish.

Important safety reminders

hands arranging fish

Having proper form when using your knives is incredibly important, there is a safest way to hold your knives. Always slide your knife down the fish going away from your body. You can hold the fish by the tail, at a distance from your body for the safest form. It’s recommended you remove scales over a sink because they will fly everywhere while you do this. Grip the knife by its handle and move down the fish at a medium-slow pace. If you go faster you risk losing control and hurting yourself. As mentioned, you can achieve the results you want with a smaller knife; this is not only safer but gives you better control as well.

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If you really want to be safe while you do this you might want to consider investing in a cut glove. A cut glove is a protective glove you can wear while using sharp knives to cover your hands from any accidental knicks or slices. This is a good resource to have if you want to experiment with using your knife in different ways and learning different cuts as well.

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