- Keep them wet
Keep the fish wet until you scale them. If they have dried out, soak them a few minutes in ice water before scaling to make the scales easier to remove.
- If they are from the market… do it now
If you’re buying a whole fish from the market, clean it as soon as you get home, rather than storing it in the refrigerator. You should also plan to eat it the same day you buy it
- Set up a table outdoors and cover it with newspaper
Try to find a table high enough to work comfortably on, that can be rinsed easily with a garden hose when you are finished
- Gather your supplies before you begin
Set out a bucket for the fish parts, gloves if you want to wear them, a sharp cutting knife, and a container for the cleaned fish. If you have a lot of fish to clean, set out a cooler full of ice to keep the cleaned fish cold
- Begin scaling the fish
Hold it firmly by the head and scrape the scales from the tail toward the gills with a butter knife or scaling tool. Test for the right pressure; the scales should come loose easily and fly off.
- Keep the strokes of your scaler short and quick. Avoid pressing too hard and gashing the fish
- Work carefully around the fins, since they can prick or puncture your skin
- Be sure to remove all of the scales from both sides of the fish. Don’t forget the scales around the pectoral and dorsal fins, and up to the throat, which is the edge of the fish’s gills
- Rinse the fish, put it in the cooler, repeat!
So, a couple of hints, tips, take what you like and leave the rest… speaking of leaving… leave a comment to share one of YOUR tips!