I'm on a mission for some keeper flounder this weekend. Once I get my hands on some, I would like to gut them and fry them whole. Can someone tell me exactly how to clean out the guts without cutting the head off, fileting it, etc? I'm not very familiar with flounder anatomy.
just find the anus and cut carefully towards the gills. The gut of a flounder isn't very large, and is kinda round. Once you get to the gills, reach in and pull out all the guts and gills.
Thanks, uncljohn. Do I do this as the fish is on its flat side, or turn it over?
Not sure why you want to cook them head-on (apply directly to the forehead), but alternately you could slit behind the pectoral fin parallel to the gill plate and then along the ventral (bottom) fin back toward the anus (which is on the under-side near the tip of the pectoral fin). You'd end up with a V-shaped cut from which you could extract the guts. I used to just scale, behead, and gut the not-worth-filleting smaller flounder, but at today's minimums I find them all worth filleting.
I would go with filleting. There are not any small bones, or funky rib cages to worry about with flounder. Scale your fish, then make a slice at an angle <\===< behind the pectoral fin. Feel for the gut cavity and make sure your angled cut traces the very rear of the cavity. Now slice the flounder down the middle along the backbone. Now just work your fillet knife along the flounders ribs to separate the meat from the bones. You will get 2 fillets per side. Not very hard at all. Good luck you.
At today's minimum sizes they are all worth filleting, no need to head, gut or scale them
here is a pretty good set of instructions with pics
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shouldn't matter what side it is laying on as long as you can easily locate the hole. Might be easier to see on the light side.
It is easy to fillet a flounder. Method 1) Slit down the lateral line on one flat side (right down the middle). Then fillet each half along the bones as you would a normal fish. Turn over and repeat. You DO need a really nice flexible fillet knife.
Method 2) At the fish market, we'd cut right at the base of the tail on one side, then push the long fillet knife up along the midline spine and cut out to the fins. Easy and gives you the 2 whole fillets. Repeat on the other side of the spine. Then turn fish over and repeat.