How to fillet mackerel

Enjoy mackerel without having to pick bones out of your teeth with our simple guide to filleting

How to fillet mackerel

Top tip: When buying oily fish, look for shiny eyes, red gills and almost-stiff flesh.

Once you’ve filleted your mackerel, be inspired by our mackerel recipes.

Step one

Remove the head using a sharp knife, cutting at an angle just under the fins on each side of the head. Then cut beneath the fin. Snap the head off, removing any innards.

Step two

Make an incision in the skin along the back of the fish – keep the knife close to the dorsal (top) fin.

Step three

Place the tip of the knife into the incision and run along the bones, starting at the top. Midway along, push the knife down through to the underside of the fish, then run the knife along the whole fillet to the tail. Next, stroke the knife under the fillet from the middle of the fish up towards the head, then remove it from the skeleton. Repeat on the other side. Trim the skin around the fillets to neaten them.

Step four

Use fishbone tweezers to pinbone the fillets. Pull out the sturdy bones from the centre of the fillet, or use a knife to cut along either side of them and pull out the strip of bones as a whole.

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