How To Clean A Catfish In 3 Easy Steps!

    How To Clean A Catfish- Best Ways To Do It!

    Do you want to learn How to clean a catfish? We often wonder what could be the process of cleaning it.

    Catfish are known to have tough, leathery skin that is extremely difficult to consume if it’s left on the meat. Whether you wish to prepare the fish you just caught or bought the catfish from the nearby store, you can peel and clean it at home itself using a few household tools. Once you clean the catfish, you can cut it into filets so they are served to eat.

    This article will learn how to clean a catfish properly and enjoy the filets.

    How To Clean A Catfish- Preparation

    Before beginning, ensure that you have a hygienic work surface. Clean the knife blades and cutting board using a bar of good antibacterial soap and a scrub brush. Then let the soap sit on the exterior of the blade and board for several minutes before rinsing it off.

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    Antibacterial soap does not operate instantly after scrubbing. You have to let it sit for a few minutes. You can even use a blend of bleach and water for the same purpose. Many people used bleach, but all the materials or tools involved ended with bleach stains.

    Make sure the knives you have are sharp. Fish experts suggest keeping an Accusharp on hand for positioning a sharp edge on the standard knife and an additional set of blades if you use the electric one.

    Put on your gloves to avoid injury. Once you are ready with all the tools and hygienic surfaces, you can now learn how to clean a fish easily with this quick guide.

    How to clean a catfish

    1. How to clean a catfish- Skinning the fish

    how to clean a catfish

    1. Make superficial slanted cuts behind the catfish’s gills on either side that reach the stomach

    Use the clean filet knife to cut merely behind the fish’s gills at an angle of 45-degree approaching the head. Only use shallow cuts between 3.2–6.4 mm deep, or else it becomes more challenging to clear the skin. Cut near the bottom of the fish’s head to unite the two cuts.

    Make sure the knife you have is sharp. Using a dull knife could be challenging as it won’t cut as smoothly and is riskier than a sharp knife.

    2. Cut along the catfish’s spine starting from its head to its tail

    Initiate your cut at the bottom of the head, and drag the knife down the catfish’s body. Use a superficial cut to break through their skin, or approximately 1814 inch (or 3.2–6.4 mm) depth. When you approach the top fin or dorsal fin, operate your knife around it instead of cutting straight through it. Finish your cut right at the tail.

    Be cautious of the blunt barb on the rear of the dorsal fin. It may pierce your skin, and based on the species of catfish you are cutting, and it might contain a toxin or poison.

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    3. Cut open the skin down the middle of the catfish’s belly

    Make one more 1814 inch (or 3.2–6.4 mm) plunging cut along the belly, beginning at the cut you made closer to the head. Operate the knife approaching the tail, finishing your cut exactly where the fin starts. Do not cut overly deep, or else you may puncture the catfish’s internal organs.

    4. Make vertical slits on either side of the tail

    Search for the place on the catfish’s tail where the scales end and the catfish’s fin starts appearing. Use the filet knife to form a cut of 1814 inch (or 3.2–6.4 mm) deep, starting from the spine to their belly. These cuts must bisect with the other two cuts you have previously made.

    5. Connect the pliers on the skin below the fish’s gills

    how to clean a catfish

    Skin a small part of their skin back using your finger before securing it with a pair of pliers. Catch a large enough part of the skin to operate the entire exterior area of the pliers.

    Turn the pliers to obtain a more satisfactory grip or slacken more skin.

    6. Peel the catfish’s skin back towards the tail in a single fluid motion

    Maintain the catfish’s head down using your hand to hold it pressed against your cutting board. Remove the skin away from the fish’s head gradually, so it does not tear or break. As soon as you reach the tail, the skin must easily drag off the fish. Duplicate the process on a different side.

    Use your gloves when holding the catfish’s head down since they have whiskers that could harm your hand.

    2. How to clean a catfish- Removing the innards

    how to clean a catfish

    1. Twist the head off right below the gills

    The foremost step is to bend the fish’s head back, reaching the spine to crack the fish’s neck. Put the catfish’s head back in position and turn it. As you turn the head, drag it away from the fish’s body to remove it entirely.

    If you do not feel pleased or comfortable turning the head of the fish’s body, use a butcher’s blade to chop their head off behind the fish’s gills.

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    2. Pull the tail and all the fins

    Use one pair of scissors from your kitchen or a filet knife to dice off all the fins of catfish, along with the tail. Cut as close to the base of the fin as you can to remove it entirely.

    To cut the dorsal fin thoroughly, cut around it using your filet knife approximately 12 inch (or 1.3 cm) deep. Use the pliers to remove the fin out of the fish’s body.

    3. Cut through the fish’s stomach and draw out the entrails using your finger

    Employ your filet knife to cut through the catfish’s stomach entirely. Run the finger through the fish’s interior, beginning on the side nearest to the tail. Dig out all of the inner organs and toss them away.

    Use nitrile gloves if you do not wish to handle the fish. Place the fish organs in a different garbage bag and toss it outside, so the kitchen waste does not stink.

    4. Wash the body out using cold water

    Handle the catfish meat beneath your faucet to wash out any blood or remains from the interior of the body. Once you’re done, pat the catfish dry using a paper towel and put it again on the cutting board.

    Just use cold water since hot water will begin cooking the catfish.

    3. How to clean a catfish- Cutting filets

    catfish, fish, fillet
    Photo by BlackRiv on Pixabay

    1. Cut down along the spine towards the ribs

    Gradually work the tip of the filet knife down, reaching the spine to detach the meat from the fish’s bones. Use quick strokes to cut near the rib cage to hold bones out of the filet. Operate down the whole length of the rib cage, beginning from the head to the tail.

    If you own a smaller catfish roughly 14–16 inches (or 36–41 cm) in size, you can even cook your catfish whole.

    2. Drive the knife through the belly of the fish and slice towards the tail

    Keep the fish still using your non-dominant hand. Put the knife between the backbone and filet and drive it through the fish till the blade reaches out of the belly. After you notice the tip of the kitchen knife through the fish’s belly, gradually cut the filet towards the fish’s tail.

    Do not put your fingers where you are planning to slice through the fish, or else you may end up cutting yourself.

    3. Cut back towards the front of the fish to drag the filet

    Raise the tail area of the filet far from the rib cage using your non-dominant hand. Slice through the base of the fish still joined to the filet. After you drag the first filet, keep it aside.

    4. Remove the filet from the different side

    Turn the fish over and continue the same process on the remaining side. Work gradually to make sure you get all of the flesh off the bones. Set the next filet aside after it is removed. Once the catfish has been thoroughly cleaned, you can toss away the bones or form a stock from them.

    Catfish filets can be baked, grilled, or fried as your choice or cravings.

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