Step 1: You will need:
- 1 whole salmon, gutted and scales removed
- 1 cutting board
- 1 container with water
- 1 knife
- 1 set of tweezers
Step 2: Fillet one side
Put the salmon on the cutting board, on a diagonal, with its head to your right and the stomach away from you. Make an incision, on the diagonal, just behind the gills and cut all the way down to the spine, but without cutting through it entirely.
Step 3: Remove the fillet
Insert the knife into the cut and move it around a little, so it goes along the spine, cutting away the meat. You should be able to feel the knife sliding along the top of the spine. You may need to wiggle your knife a little if it gets stuck. Always look at the top of the spine to make sure you are not cutting through it. Remove the fillet and put it aside.
Step 4: Remove the stomach bones
Place the knife very gently under the stomach bones and finely slice away just the top layer of the flesh. This part is the fattiest part, and therefore the tastiest. We only need to remove the bones and upper layer of the flesh.
Step 5: Remove the needle bones
There are "needle" bones in the centre of the fillet that need to be removed. Run your index finger along the middle of the fillet, to half way down. You should be able to feel the bones. Grasp them firmly with the tweezers and in one fluid motion, remove the bone from the flesh. Put the tweezers into the water. This helps to get rid of the bones from them. Continue until all the bones have been removed then test once more with your finger to make sure.
Step 6: Skin the fillets
Removing the skin is optional. However, to do so begin by holding the tail side in your left hand. Make a small slit into the meat near the end of the tail, but do not cut through the skin. Angle the knife so that it is almost flat between the meat and the skin. Move the knife slowly and carefully forward, whilst pulling the skin towards you. The skin should come off easily in one piece. When you finish, discard the skin.
Step 7: Fillet the other side
Turn the fish over so that the stomach is closest to you. Repeat the filleting process in exactly the same way. Set the fillet aside when finished and discard the bones.
Step 8: Cut and use
Your salmon fillets are now ready to be used in any dish you choose. Cut them across the grain into pieces, or use them as they are, depending on what you plan to make. The fact that they are boneless makes them wonderful for children as well.