Something Fishy-Part One

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I’ve always had a fascination with fish. When I was little I used to run up to the seafood display at the grocery store and have intense staring contests with the halibut and salmon. I’d stand there while my Mom shopped and give all of them very elaborate names, like “April Showers” or “Bucket.” I don’t think it ever occurred to me that they were dead- I just thought they’d be low maintenance pets.
A few weeks ago I found myself at the seafood counter in Whole Foods, with the distinct advantage of being able to see over the top. They had red snapper on sale, and I was feeling guilty about not blogging for a while. Maybe it was the guilt, maybe it was the lack of sleep, or maybe I’ve just been watching too much Game of Thrones, but I decided to pull a fisherman’s wife and clean it myself.

This was a really bad idea.
If you’re easily grossed out, I would suggest maybe skipping this post. I would too, if I didn’t have to write it.
I decided to make Martha Stewart’s salt baked fish, which calls for one whole fish scaled and cleaned. After some internet research and a lot of kicking myself I found out how to do this.

To scale a fish, you use the blunt edge of a knife and scrape from the tail to the head. Easy, right?

Nothing to it!

So far so good.

Maybe I should get in there a little more.


It turns out that as you scrape them off, these suckers fly everywhere.

Like in your hair.

Or on your arms.

Or in your eye, again.

I later found several down my shirt. Sneaky devils.

Next I had to trim off all the fins, which were wicked sharp.

Yeah. Try high fiving that.

This was less gross, and more just difficult.

After a lot of muscle and some dull scissors, he was fin free.

Pro status, right here.

Without fins or scales in the way, I was able to remove the guts
To access the fishy pouch of nasty parts, I had to make a cut along the belly.

I learned how to do that from watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Then I had to reach inside, and remove everything.




I never wanted to know a fish on this level.
I have a few pictures of actually removing the guts, but I feel like you guys have suffered enough. Stick around for the next post, and I’ll show you how I actually cooked this thing.

Until next time!


August 15, 2012. Tags: , , . Cooking.


  1. Jane Litchfield replied:

    This brings back many many fond memories of cleaning fish with my brother. Bravo – fun blog.

  2. Mark replied:

    I laughed. I cried. But mostly I was impressed – that took A LOT OF GUTS…

  3. Cat Williams replied:

    This was really the most disgusting thing ever, you guys. Imagine trying to take this pictures while scales are flying everywhere. Definitely a challenge.

  4. Page not found « CookingCrownunder replied:

    […] Something Fishy-Part One […]

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