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How to Fillet Roach (Weight 100–600 g)

Using high-quality equipment makes it easy to fillet roach. You can find out more about Happy Angler's range of fish utensils by clicking here.

How to Fillet Roach (Weight 100600 g)


By following these instructions, you should have no trouble dealing with roach muscle bones. You can either remove the bones or cut them into small pieces. Keep in mind that all fish intended for consumption should be killed immediately, bled and stored in a cool place. Blood or other impurities should always be removed from fillets. This is the best way to optimise the taste and preservability of the fish.


  1. Filleting the sides

Insert a sharp knife through the scales behind the pectoral fin, turn the blade parallel to the side over the backbone and cut the side out with an incision along the backbone. The removal of sidebones in the front requires some force, and it is a good idea to vary the blade angle a little when cutting the fillet.


Rinse off all blood and guts immediately after filleting one side. Then fillet the other side of the fish.


  1. Removing the belly bones

Remove the belly bones by sliding the knife blade under the bones. In leaner roach, there is very little belly meat, and it can be difficult to separate.


  1. Removing the skin

Press the flat of the blade against the skin and slide it starting from the tail to cut out the meat.


Please note that if you are curing the fillet, the skin must not be removed. The skin is removed from cured fillets only after the curing process.


How to deal with muscle bones

Fish of the carp family have more muscle bones than other fish, and the number of bones can vary greatly. The common roach, rudd and white bream have approximately half as much muscle bones as the common bream and asp.


The muscle bones of smaller fish of the carp family (100–200 g) are naturally extremely fine, which is why it may not always be necessary to remove them. When curing or preparing fish in lemon juice (ceviche), the bones soften so much you won't be able to notice them.


The bones of larger fish of the carp family can be removed by first cutting out the meat above the muscle bones in the back. Then the fillet with muscle bones can be cut out along the fish's entire back. Parts with lots of bones can be diced into small pieces across the bones so that they can easily be ground in a blender.


Back muscle bones, appr. 20–47

Posterior muscle bones, appr. 7–22



Fish fingers:

Cut the fillet lengthwise so that the small muscle bones are cut shorter. When the fish fingers are fried, the fine pieces of bones soften in the cooking process and won't bother even the pickiest eater.


Cured roach:

For curing, leave the skin intact and slice the fish into fillets so that the blade cuts the bones as short as possible. To avoid waste, you can also grind the parts with bones and use in a fish patty mixture.


Roach patties:

The easiest way to make fish of the carp family boneless is to grind them. Remove the skin, dice the fillets and grind them together with the ingredients and spices of your choice using an immersion blender. Eggs and cream are good basic ingredients for this.





All wild fish must be frozen at -20°C for +1 day before raw consumption.

Text and images: Sakke Yrjölä



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