How to fillet a fish – a poem


Oroshi hocho knives((1))

Grab a knife – any knife.
Just as long as it is sharp.
Grab a fish – any fish.
Just make sure it is scaled,
fresh and safe to eat.
Firmly pressed down,
don’t let it slip.
Along the spine,
on an angle,
cut from head to tail.
Watch your fingers.
Diligent and cautious,
glide between flesh and bone
all the way through
to the other side.

[[1]] Image Source: Wikimedia Commons. [Subject: Various Japanese utensils, including a long flexible Oroshi hocho ( おろし包丁) (middle) and a hancho hocho (半丁包丁) (closest to camera). The utensils are used to fillet large tuna. Photo taken at the Tsukiji fish market. Photographer: Cafe Nervosa. Date: August 28, 2005.] License: Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 Generic license. I was inspired to write this poem after recently reading Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things’s post ‘Food Verse – inspirational food writing in the form of poetry and verse‘. For more poetry on food, please visit Liz’s post or check out Poetry Foundation.[[1]]


  1. Josie and Maud says

    How brilliant! Love this… Clever, refined and fun…You got talent not just with your amazing recipes, but your creative writing as well. Well done Padaek.. We love you!!!

    • says

      Hi Rosa,

      Thanks very much for your comment. I’m pleased you like the poem. Filleting a fish is pretty easy and with experience anyone can be good at it. Just be careful of your fingers and hands. :)

    • says

      Hi Eha!

      Thanks very much for your comment. I’m very pleased that you like the poem. Filleting a fish is easy with practice and rewarding too because you can use the bone/carcass for soups/stock. Hmmm – I’ve always started with the head/shoulder end; different ways but all work well I’m certain. Best wishes Eha! :)

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