Flounder is high in protein and low in fat, making it a mouthwatering and healthy fish. It is tasty regardless of the way you cook it. For the best flavor, however, it is critical to pay attention to cleaning flounder, making sure to remove the scales and slime.
For most novice anglers, cleaning flounder, or any other fish for that matter, seems like an intimidating task. Especially if you fished it yourself, you may no longer have the energy to have it cleaned after a tiring day.
Want to know how to clean flounder? Read the rest of this post and we’ll let you know how to do it.
Clean and Cook as Soon as Possible
Keep in mind that flounder can spoil easily when you do not clean and freeze it after reeling in a catch. As soon as you have it on hand, do not wait for a long time before it is cleaned. They spoil quickly. If you do not have the time to clean flounder right there and then, make sure to keep them in a fishing cooler and have it iced.
If you are buying a flounder from the market, pay attention to its freshness. It should not smell fishy. The flesh should bounce back when you press it with your finger. The eyes have to be clear and the gills need to be bright.
Prepare the Cleaning Area
Get the spot ready before cleaning flounder. Look for an area with a clean surface where the fish can be laid as it is cleaned. If you are on a boat and out fishing, the top part of the ice chest will be a good spot. To make things easier, see to it as well that it is flat.
Remove the Scales
When it comes to how to clean flounder, one of the first things that you need to learn is removing the scales of the fish. The fish has scales and slime of the surface, which is crucial for keeping it safe when it is in the water.
To scale the fish, use your non-dominant hand to hold the tail firmly. Hold a fishing knife using your dominant hand. To descale the fish, you have to use the blunt side and not the sharp end of the knife. Push the knife from the base all the way to the head. Do this again until there are no visible slime and scales on the surface of the flounder.
After doing it on one side, flip the fish over so you can do the same thing on the other side. Once you are done, rinse the fish. Use your hand to remove any remaining scale on the surface. At this point, rub the fish over with your hand. If it is still slimy, take this as a sign that you need to do again the things mentioned above.
Once you are done getting rid of the scales, wash off the knife. You will use it later, so you have to get rid of dirt on the blade.
Instead of using a knife, you can also use a fish scraper.
Gutting a Flounder
Learning how to clean flounder is not simply all about getting rid of the scales and the slime. You also need to know how to gut a fish. It entails the need to remove the intestine and other parts of the fish that are not meant to be cooked and eaten. It prolongs the storage life of the flounder while also getting rid of foul smell. Gutting is also important for hygienic reasons.
To gut the flounder, open the head of the fish by inserting your index finger in between the gills and the jaw of the fish. After opening the fish, you can see the deep red color of gills. Remove the gills using your thumb and index finger. To remove the entire set of the gills, you can also cut the joint at the bottom of the jaw.
Find the belly or the underside of the fish. Using the tip of the knife, create a deep incision from the jaw to the anus. You can use a camping knife to do this. Open the incision using your hand and pull the inside parts, including kidney, liver, intestine, and other organs. Use a spoon to get rid of the innards that remain in the belly. Wash the flounder with water.
Filleting a Flounder
Learning how to clean flounder is not complete without knowing how to have it filleted. After all, the main reason why you are cleaning the fish is to prepare it for cooking. Filleting makes it possible to take out the flesh of the fish and cook it as desired.
One of the most important is to have the right fish fillet knife to use. A good fillet knife has a sharp blade and ergonomic handle, among other physical attributes. You should also be familiar with the differences between boning and fillet knife for an assurance that you will have the right tools.
To fillet the flounder, cut vertically just behind its head all the way to the bottom. The tip of the knife must reach the bone but be careful so that you won’t cut it. At this point, the fish is divided into two parts. Insert the tip of the knife and cut it along from the top to the bottom. See to it that the blade is sharp to do it smoothly. Make sure that no bones are cut.
Lift the part of the fish that you have already cut. Insert the knife underneath the portion of the flesh that remains attached. Run the fillet knife from the top to the bottom until the dorsal fin. Repeat on the other side of the flounder. Flip the fish and do the same thing to fillet the other part.
Rinse the flounder fillet immediately. Do not leave it at room temperature for an extended period. Have it iced or store in the freezer as soon as possible. If you are on a fishing trip, check out Yeti coolers for a high-quality cooler that can keep your flounder iced before it is cleaned.
Cooking the Flounder
After cleaning, get rid of fish smell on your hands and cook the flounder accordingly. One of the easiest ways to cook a flounder is to have it pan-fried. All that you have to do is to dredge the whole flounder with flour. Heat olive oil and butter. Add the fish on the pan and flip the flounder until both sides are cooked.
If you are outdoors, such as in a camping trip, make sure to have a portable grill in your fishing trip checklist. This is an easy way to cook flounder. After cleaning the flounder, have it marinated or season with your choice of flavorings, including soy sauce, pepper, salt, lemon juice, garlic powder, and herbs, among others.
The mildly sweet flavor of the fish makes it versatile in terms of the cooking possibilities. You can have it poached, baked, or sautéed, among others. Regardless of the way you have it cooked, the most important is to make sure that it is as clean as possible to turn it into a mouthwatering dish.
Globo Surf Overview
As shown in this post, cleaning flounder is an easy task, although, it is not that straightforward. You start by removing the scales and the slime. After this, gut the fish, and finally, fillet or cut as desired, depending on the way you intend to cook it.
Now that you know how to clean flounder, it is time to plan a fishing trip to have a fresh catch and practice the steps mentioned above. Get your fishing rod and reel ready! Happy fishing!