This Sport Fishing video from Dan Hernandez shows you how to fillet Halibut and Rockfish.
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How to Fillet Halibut and Rockfish
Dan Hernandez: Standing next to me is Loopy. We’re at Berth 55 Seafood Restaurant, Long Beach California. We got lots of questions on our TV show would be about how to fillet fish. I know that halibut intimidates a lot of people. Loopy is going to show us how to fillet two types of fish today, a rockfish, it would be the same as doing a bass and a halibut, the flat fish. Why don’t you get started on the halibut first? So, what are you doing here Loopy?
Loopy: I just cut on the back part of the fish which is—they got two size. They got big one in the middle. So, we’re going to start from the top then we’re going to go in the bottom.
Dan Hernandez: So, we’re actually going to get two fillets out of each side of the halibut.
Loopy: You’re going to get like four fillets.
Dan Hernandez: Four filets out of the whole fish.
Loopy: We’re going to start from here, on this.
Dan Hernandez: And this is the whole back on right on there?
Loopy: Yes, right on the bone.
Dan Hernandez: Sure.
Loopy: Then we’re going to start from the other side.
Dan Hernandez: So, you’re just working the knife right along the back here?
Loopy: Yes, you got to follow the bone part.
Dan Hernandez: Sure. Looking now, we’re doing the back side. This is the side that doesn’t have the eyes on it. Both eyes are on the darker side. Is the meat still the same? Is it the same texture? Or is it a totally different texture?
Loopy: Well, it’s almost the same but there’s a different flavor in each side.
Dan Hernandez: A little bit.
Loopy: A little difference. So, you can see the difference. This is more dark, this is lighter.
Dan Hernandez: The lighter meat.
Dan Hernandez: I know this is intimidating for a lot of people. They see a flat fish like that and they don’t know how to cut it. They think the fillet like a regular fish but you don’t.
Loopy: No but its equal.
Dan Hernandez: And all you end up is with the carcass and you can see through the bones. That’s pretty cool. That was pretty neat and I know a lot of places I’ve been to café’s, resorts and stuff, they’ll even take the head and cut it off and make soup out of it.
Loopy: Yeah, they do. This looks good.
Dan Hernandez: All right, well let’s go ahead and try another fish. Now, this is a rockfish. This is a Baja rockfish. It’s the same as doing a red snapper. It could be a standout, it’s the same type of structure fish that you would do and how are you going to do this one? Just cutting right along the back, that’s good. You didn’t waste anything there.
Dan Hernandez: Now, do you have a favorite way to take the skin off of those?
Dan Hernandez: Because I have a couple of techniques I use, let me see how you do it.
Loopy: Oh yes, mine. Just start ripping it.
Dan Hernandez: When the fish is really fresh, you can just hold that knife and pull the skin.
Loopy: Oh yeah.
Dan Hernandez: It’s nice and you’re just going to trim off the ripped cartridge on the other side. You know, it’s just that little piece there. That’s good. That’s a perfect fillet and this is what you should end up with, nothing wasted on this fish, perfect piece of meat. In next week’s episode, Loopy is going to take us out to the grill and show us how to cook up a rockfish. Heavy actually this one here. Thanks Loopy that was really good.
Dan Hernandez: Next week’s episode, Loopy is going to show us how to cook up this fish, taking a rockfish, putting it on the grill. It’s a fun, easy recipe to do. You know, the whole thing about having great seafood is nothing better than the fish you catch yourself. It’s really fresh. I tell people all the time, I’m sure you hear this too, if you go to a store and it smells like fish, don’t buy it.
Loopy: Don’t buy it.
Dan Hernandez: It means it’s been frozen too long?
Dan Hernandez: So, the whole thing about having good quality fish, catch it yourself, chill it as soon as possible and fillet as you soon as you can.
Dan Hernandez: And you want to get all the blood, everything out of it.
Loopy: Yeah they got sour and fillet it by the way.
Dan Hernandez: All right, cool. Well thanks a lot Loopy. Remember it’s Berth 55 Seafood Restaurant here in Long Beach. Next week, we’ll be right back here cooking up this fish. Well, let’s get back on the water to tell you more exciting action here on sport-fishing.