Jan 27, 2014

Senoko Fishery Port & Fish to Scale & Gut

We wandered over to Senoko Fishery Port one fine midnight to buy seafood – flash-frozen fish, big ol’ prawns and slimy squid.

The haul was for Chinese New Year (the Chinese version of Christmas without religious undertones & oversights) where food, food and gut-bursting food is the norm.

Source: Facebook Friends (like I’ll tell you)

My Haul: 1 kg of Tiger prawns, 1 small parrot fish

What I wanted to get out of it wasn’t just relatively fresh and relatively cheaper seafood. I wanted to scale, gut and prepare a fish from scratch.

Preparing a Fish

Simple 3-step process: scale, gut, and keep.

Images taken from the web.

Scale the Fish

Get a fish scale scrapper and run it against the scales to pull them off the fish. Do it all over the fish – head, tail, body, everywhere. You’ll know when it’s done when the fish is smooth all over to touch.

This is the messiest  step. I do it outdoors now especially after I clogged up the sink with fish scales.

Gut the Fish

Not for the squeamish. It gets bloody here. I’ve outlined the steps below:

  1. Remove the gills
    Lift the side flaps on the fish’s head, grab a hold of the gills and yank them out.
  2. Slit the fish along the belly
    Use a short and sharp knife. Cutting through the skin and belly requires effort. Place your hand above the fish, press down on it, and commence slicing. Make sure that your fingers are nowhere near the cutting zone.
  3. Open up the fish and pull out its guts
    Basically reach in and pull out the intestines, liver, ballast pouch etc. I use pliers as it can get slippery. Essentially you’d want a clean, hollowed out fish.
  4. Scrape out the blood residue
    Use a knife or point of a chopper to scrape out the now clotting blood. This helps to reduce the fishy smell and taste. Clean throughly with water.

Keep the Fish

If you’re not using the fish now, sprinkle a little salt inside and outside of the fish, and freeze it.

Now that’s how we scale, gut, and clean a fish.

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