Pin Boning Fish
Photography by: Jason Hamilton
Although serving a whole fish can be quite impressive and the flavour quite delicious the bones the guest encounters while eating can often take away from the whole experience.
So you go to your local fish market and order a side of fish from your favourite fish monger instead. He or she goes through the effort to remove the whole side of fish from the inner carcass and you think all the work is done for you. Unfortunately not, you see many fish mongers stop short of removing the little pin bones that usually run the length of your beautiful side of fresh fish. So in this demonstration IÌll show you how to guarantee that your guests enjoy a delicious bone free serving of fresh fish where they can focus on the flavours you have put into the dish instead of being annoyed by bones in their fish.
Although pin-boning can be labour intensive, it is not skill intensive, so your fish monger leaving this task for you is actually helping to keep the high price of seafood from being even higher. Plus it leaves them free to take care of the difficult stuff like cleaning and filleting for you.
- Cover the chopping board with plastic wrap, in order to keep it from absorbing fish odour.
- Lay the fish skin side (or what used to be the skin side, if you had it removed) down.
- Run your fingers along the length of the fish from the thick end to the tail end.
- You will feel little bones and should recognise the line or pattern they are in.
- One by one, pull them out by firmly gripping them with the tweezers.
- Depending on the type of fish there may only be a few bones in the thick end.
- Also dependant on the type of fish it may require a relatively firm grip on the bones before they let loose.