How to Skin a Herring
Herring is often used in many meals, so it’s important to know how to skin one.
We at 5-Minute Crafts found out what tricks there are for skinning a herring.
What you need
There are multiple ways to skin and debone and herring but each of them requires you to have a certain set of tools. To speed up the process, you need to prepare for it in advance. So, to skin a herring you need:
- A sharp knife for fish. Don’t forget to sharpen the knife because it defines how fast the process will be and how even the pieces will be.
- Tweezers. Not every bone can be easily removed, so sometimes, you’ll need to use additional tools.
- Rubber gloves. They will protect your hands from the knife, the bones, and the smell.
- A cutting board. It’s better to protect the tabletop before skinning a herring. Plastic cutting boards are better because they don’t absorb the fat and the smell.
- Food wrap. Wrap the cutting board with cling film, and at the end of the work, roll it up and throw it away.
- Kitchen scissors. The classic way requires a knife but not everyone prefers this. If you like scissors better, make sure you have them.
Way № 1: Classic
Before cleaning a herring, wash it in cold water to remove the salt and the slime. The cleaning process includes several stages:
- Use a sharp knife to remove the head and the tail and wash the fish again. It’s necessary to make sure small bones don’t get into the fillet.
- Cut the lower part of the fish straight. Move from the head to the tail not cutting deeper than 1 cm.
- Remove the internal organs and the caviar through the cut. Wash the body again and use a cloth to dry it. Do the same inside.
Important: All the insides should be removed or the fillet will have a bitter aftertaste.
- Remove the skin. It’s easy to do by holding the fish on the sides.
- Remove the bones from the filet starting from the head and going to the tail. Because there are very small bones, cut the fillet in half and then use tweezers.
After all the steps, you should have a completely clean fillet.
Way № 2: More thorough
Before cleaning the herring, wash it in cold water. The following steps will be quite different.
- Cut the body and remove all the insides and the skin following the instructions in № 1.
- Remove the tail in a different way: grab it and do a few twists in different directions. Then put the fish back and rib the body. You will have the tail in one hand and the rest in the other.
- Now, you need to remove the big bones. Take the herring in both hands, turning belly toward yourself. With your thumbs, feel for the location of the ridge inside the fish. Divide the carcass into 2 halves so that the “groped” bones remain on the same side of the herring. Gently press down the ridge on the inside, but on the outside, go through the bones with your fingers, removing it from the meat. Do the same thing with the second half of the fish.
Way № 3: Cleaning with scissors
This way is the most convenient one because the removal of the insides is easier.
- Prepare and clean the fish in the same way № 1 describes.
- Remove the head and the tail with the scissors and then cut the body to remove the skin.
- After that, cut the body going from the tail to the head removing the fins and the insides.
- Remove the bones in any way you like.