Location: It's all about location.
|I realize that this would be better as a video (no can do right now), or as a series of photos. But I only have two hands and no friends.
The inspiration for this method came from Aliza Greenís book, The Fishmongerís Apprentice, ISBN 13-978-1-59253-6535, in which she supplies the proper term and history for the boning of small fish with glorious color photos on page 90 to guide you through the process.
I tried and didnít that method like cuz I kept poking my thumb thru the flesh. And who wants holey fish?
So I devised the following:
I am picking this up at the point where the fish has been beheaded and gutted with a slit from head to anal opening.
1) Cradle fish in nondominant hand (skinside down, open side up; head towards working hand). With dominant hand, run index and thumb along spine to feel for a likely place to grasp the spine and start ripping it out without tears to the flesh. Let the spine break and pull towards head, removing the bone.
2) Return to where you left off, and sort of burrowing thru, use your index finger and thumb to work spine out, cradling the fish in your nondominant hand for support; you want to try to keep the removal of spine centered b/c you will burrow your way past the anal opening, further splitting the fish as you go, and THEN:
3) when you get to within an inch of the tail, grab the flesh of the fish (which will now be bone-free and kind of hanging around; skin side will be on top, flesh on bottom) with your nondominant hand, get a good grip of the spine w/ your dominant hand and simultaneously pull spine and fish in opposite directions (u r sorta turning it inside out, like taking off a t-shirt) and THE TAIL IS PULLED THRU THE BODY CAVITY nice and clean. If you look closely at the top photo, you can see that this happened perfectly on the specimen on the right.
For those of you who want to try it the way it is recommended in the book, after gutting and beheading, place fish, skin side up, opened out like a book. Starting at head, use thumb to press down on spine down to the tail. Flip over and remove the spine. And don't whatever you do, puncture the flesh.
Colliding with the enemy.