Basic Minced Horse Mackerel (How to Filet and Cut Up the Fish)

Basic Minced Horse Mackerel (How to Filet and Cut Up the Fish)

Why not make some cutlets once you get your hands on some fresh horse mackerel? Horse mackerel is perfect for guests as well as serves as practice for making 3-tiered cuts if you stack them up coolly.

Ingredients: 4 servings

Horse mackerel (about 15 cm long)
6 fish
1 thumb
Green onions
About 5 cm
Green onions or scallions
2 to 3
Daikon radish
to taste
Shiso leaves
as needed


1. Preparing the garnishes: Cut the daikon radish into thin strips, and soak in water to make them crispy. Wash the shiso leaves. Prepare a few strips of ginger.
2. Place the knife at a bit of an angle between the pectoral fin facing towards the head. Do the same on the other side, and cut out the spine. Pull out the head by wiggling it up and down, and cut it off together with the pectoral fin.
3. Pull out the organs from the cut made at the pectoral fin. It will all come out in one lump if the fish is fresh. After that, cut open the fish from the tail to the head. After you've finished preparing all 6 fish, rinse the insides with running water to remove the remaining organs and blood.
4. Dry off the water, and cut with the knife from the head along the back. Press down with your left hand, make sure the knife is away from the backbone, and cut the meat off with one clean cut.
5. One side has been removed, and it is now two cuts. You can stop at this point if you are making stewed miso mackerel. Cut the other side in the same manner, and you will have three cutlets.
6. Continue by removing the stomach bone. Press down on the bone with your left hand, and cut the stomach bone out by pulling the knife from the center to the front. There are small bones where I am pointing to in the photo, so remove them by hand if you are making sushi.
7. Cut off the scales. They are more loose towards the head, so pinch there and slowly pull towards the tail while holding it down with your left hand.
8. The horse mackerel cutlets are small this time, so place the tail on top, press down with your left hand, and cut off the part rich with blood along with the small bones. When handling large horse mackerel, you will get better results when removing it by hand.
9. Cut 2-3 prepared horse mackerel filets up into small bits. Prepare some finely chopped green onions and ginger, and chop it into the fish while mixing with the knife.
10. Arrange the garnishes, but remove the scales beforehand and wash the head and then out it into the plate. Stick the tail with a skewer and secure it into the head so that it becomes a bow.
11. Spread out the shiso leaves and serve the fish cutlets onto the plate, top with the ginger, and it is done.
12. Would you like to use the leftover backbones to make this recipe? (ID:540915).

Story Behind this Recipe

I often went fishing with my dad when I was a kid, so I learned how to cut small fish when I was in elementary school. So I guess that I learned how to make fish cutlets from my father. I don't really remember...( ; At any rate, I used Aitamachi's way of arranging horse mackerel to make this dish.