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Tips and Tricks for Preparing Porgy

Seafood can be a fantastic way to provide your diet with a little bit of extra nutrition. Recently, the porgy has become a popular option for many in the restaurant industry and at home because of its delicious meat and cheap price at the fish market. This Atlantic saltwater fish has a lot in common with snapper or tilapia, and can be used for everything from salads to fish and chips.

That being said, preparing a new kind of fish can often be a challenge if we are not experienced with cleaning and cutting seafood. Porgy as well is known to have quite a few bones in it, so taking the time to prepare the fish thoroughly can save you a lot of unnecessary effort in the kitchen later.

Cleaning and Filleting a Porgy

Despite its bony interior, filleting a porgy is usually a straightforward process. If you have cut and clean a fish before, you should not find it too difficult. There are still a few tips and tricks that can help you save some time.

Whether you are experienced or trying to figure out what to do with this fish for your first time, follow these directions below and enjoy your porgy:

  • Prepare Your Space – Make sure you’ve cleaned your work space thoroughly before pulling out the raw fish. You’ll need a sharp fillet knife and a cutting board for this process.
  • Descale the Porgy – The first thing you will need to is descale your fish. It is best if you start from the tail and scrape the scales slowly towards the head of the porgy, working on both sides of the fish as you move towards the head.
  • Cut the Gills – After the fish has been descaled, place the porgy on the cutting board, making sure to have its belly facing upwards. Make a small cut with your fillet knife behind the gills of the fish.
  • Gut the Porgy – Your next step will be to run your fillet knife across the belly of the porgy, from head to tail.
  • Remove the Guts and Head – After this you will need to remove the entrails of the fish, and if you would like at this point you may also remove the head of the porgy.
  • Fillet the Fish – To fillet your porgy, you will need to lay the clean fish down on your cutting board, with its back facing up towards you. Then, starting from the head, make shallow but long cuts along the fish’s backbone, from head to tail. It’s important to use smooth, consistent motions to remove the meat from the bones.
  • Extra Tip About the Bones – If you are having too much trouble with the bones of the porgy, a good way to deal with a bony fish is poaching them in a broth before flaking the meat out. While this method will destroy a potential fillet, the porgy can still be used to make soups, salads, or fish cakes.
  • Clean and Trim the Porgy Before Cooking – Lastly, you will want to trim away the extra fat from the fillets. You can also remove the fins and skin at this point.

It can be a little bit of extra work to prepare a porgy yourself. But the mild and sweet flavor of the white, tender porgy meat is sure to make it well worth it in the end.

The skin of a porgy fish also crisps easily and flakes with a delicious finish as well, so be sure to save the skin during the cleaning and filleting process. With a little practice and a bit of care, you’ll be making delicious meals with this popular fish before you know it.

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