Mackerel – Cleaning the Fish

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 81,700
    This video will show how to cook mackerel, specifically how to clean the fish.

    Barton Seaver: Hi, I am Barton Seaver. Today we are going to be cooking Spanish Mackerels. This is one of my favorite dish is this Seared Spanish Mackerel Fillet with toasted Almond Potatoes and a Lemon-Garlic Gremolata and in this segment what we are going to be showing you is a little bit about the fish and how to fillet it.

    So, this is Spanish Mackerel here. My good friends at the Blue Ocean Institute have listed this as one of their green species. It is a very sustainable catch right now. It is caught with surface gear down in -- largely in the southern Atlantic waters down in Florida especially, where most of the stuff in America is coming from. It is an absolutely beautiful, beautiful fish. It has got this wonderful yellow spots to it and this brilliant silvery gray skin to it. Its a long, sleek. slender fish, really, really pretty, very easy to fillet as well. Often you find this in the whole format. So what we are going to do is just make one small incision right behind the fin right here and once we have cut that from the head, taking a small knife which is what I prefer to use so that you have a full control over the blade at all times. When you have really big knives sometimes you dont know where the tip is and gets hurt. All you do is insert the knife and push it straight down to fillet. So what you are doing is just creating a nice fillet as you go, separating this flesh from the backbone. Come straight out down through the back, we end up with nice fillet. The Mackerel contends to sort of pull apart a little bit, thats not really a big deal. There is a little bit actually it's going to tend to caramelize and crunch out a little bit as you cook it and the skin you always cut Mackerel with the skin on. Hold it together and the skin crisps up nicely.

    So, we will go ahead and fillet up the other side as well using the same technique, just cut and make one small incision right below the head. Insert the knife and press straight down. Now you see I am putting a little bit of pressure on the fish just to keep it in place, so that when you are pushing the whole thing doesnt push out with you. Now all these fins and everything that we have come up with, we can trim those off, no problem and the bones just go into the trash there and then you are left with these nice Mackerel fillets, as I said with the fins, very easy just to trim those off and then any of the belly that is left on there as well, you just trim off.

    Now, Mackerel's bones are very easy to deal with. There are just about 10 bones and they run straight down the middle of the fillet and what we use is called a V-Cut technique and you just make a small incision right down through the skin but not all the way through on either side of the bones and just to make sure you get them all out, you cut about a half inch or so and once you get under them, just cut right under and then pull all the bones right out. There they all are. So now you are left with the completely boneless Mackerel fillet. That beautiful skin is still intact on this side. Now, one of the reasons why I love Mackerel so much is, its a very sustainable catch. The Blue Ocean Institute really recommends using this fish because it matures very quickly, so therefore its very resilient to high fishing pressure. It is caught using gear that has no by-catch associated with it meaning undesirable species are not caught alongside of it, as well as the gear doesnt cause any habitat destruction. So all in all, this is a great fish to be using. There is one concern about elevated mercury levels. So check with EPA website or the Blue Ocean to find out how that affects you. So what we are going to be doing now is cutting these up into serving sizes and then we will move on.