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How to remove fish skins easily

Removing the skin off a raw fish fillet can be simple, but it takes practice.

Many folks cook their fish with the skin on, but other recipes may ask to take it off.

We recommend a very sharp, non-serrated knife. A dull knife can make the job a lot more difficult.

Here’s a video showing you the easiest way to remove the skin:

Our guide:

  1. Make a small cut straight down about one inch from the end of the tail. Only cut through the flesh, not the skin.
  2. Use a dish towel to get a good grip on the skin at the end of the tail.
  3. Hold your knife almost parallel, slightly angled down, right next to the skin.
  4. Pull the tail piece as your saw back and forth between the skin and the flesh. You are not pushing your knife, but rather gently tugging back and forth on the tail.
  5. Keep going until you are through to the other side.

If you run into any difficulties, try:

  • Sharpening your knife
  • Holding your knife level
  • Only gently pull the tail, wagging left and right, while your knife stays put

There are a few other ways to remove the skin before and after cooking too:

  • Cook the fish in the oven on an ungreased piece of aluminum foil. You will find the skin sticks to the foil, so you can easily use a spatula to pull the fish off the skin once it’s done cooking.
  • Put your fish fillet into a hot, lightly greased frying pan for 30 seconds. The skin should peel right off.
  • Place your fish in a colander flesh-side down. Pour a kettle of boiling water on the skin. This can also make it easy to peel off the skin.