How to Clean Catfish Before Cooking? (New Easy Tips)

Catfish are one of the most flavorful fishes, and there are tons of mouth-watering recipes for cooking them. You can fry, bake, or smoke it, and every meal will turn out to be delicious!

But before you attempt to cook it, you have to know how to prepare this fish. And that’s where the mayhem begins!

Well, you don’t have to worry about that anymore as we are here with all the tips and tricks! In this quick guide, we will tell you how to clean catfish before cooking so that you can enjoy a scrumptious meal!

If you want to find out more, just keep reading.

How to Clean Catfish before Cooking: Everything you Need to Know

Catfishes are known for their super slippery skin, and it acts as a part of their defense mechanism. So you need to eliminate the slime to savor this luscious fish. But how do you do that?

Well, fellas, there are plenty of ways to perform that task. That’s why; we are going to tell you about multiple methods. In this way, you can pick the most comfortable process for you for a pleasant experience.

Methods of Cleaning Catfish

As we told you before, there are many ways that you can follow to wash and prepare your catfish. We wanted to keep things straightforward; therefore, we will be telling you about some simple procedures that anyone can follow.

The methods are:

  1. Hot water technique
  2. Lemon/lime/Vinegar method
  3. Using salt
  4. Sponge and board method

Things you need for the process:

  1. Hot water
  2. Sponge
  3. A bowl
  4. Salt/lime/lemon/vinegar

All of these ingredients are widely available in every area and household. Therefore, you won’t have any problem getting them.

The Hot Water Technique

This is one of the basic procedures that you can try to clean the slimes from a catfish skin. And this is how you do it.

  • Step One – Prepare Your Water

Firstly, put two cups of water on the stovetop. When it comes to a boil, take it off.

  • Step Two – Drown the Fish

Now keep the catfish in a bowl and pour hot water on it. After doing that, you will see that the fish is getting stiffer. When the fish gets hardened, it will be easier for you to get rid of the slime.

  • Step Three – Clear the Slime

By using your hands, squeeze the fish and try to pull off the slimes. But you have to do it gently, as any rough motion can damage the flesh.

  • Step Four – Wash the Head

You have to be patient while cleaning the head as it’s super slippery. If you use a little salt, it will be easier for you to grab this part and wash it well.

The Lime/Lemon/Vinegar Method

This procedure is one of the most popular and oldest ones. It is specially performed by South Asia people regularly as it helps to get rid of the pungent fishy smell!

The acidity of lemon/lime/vinegar reacts with the slime and decreases its density. Therefore, you can pull out and clean the catfish skin without any hassle.

Clean a Catfish Using Salt

We already know that salt is naturally abrasive. And so, it will eliminate the viscosity of the gunk pretty effortlessly. Here’s how you clean your catfish using salt.

  • First of all, put your fish in the kitchen sink
  • Now take a generous amount of salt in your palm
  • Rub the salt all over the fish and keep doing that until the slime breaks down.
  • When the substance is cleared, thoroughly wash it under the water stream.

The Sponge and Board Method

So the last technique in our guide is the sponge and board method. To perform this task, you will need

  1. Wide cutting board
  2. Sponge
  3. Bowl of warm or hot water

And this is how you do it:

  • First of all, place the fish on a wooden cutting board and keep the water bowl in front of you.
  • Now soak the sponge and scrub the greasy skin of the fish with it. You should keep doing that until the slime is gone.
  • You can apply a little force if the gunk is too stubborn.
  • When you are done cleaning the body, take some salt and rub it on the head to clean it.
  • Rinse the fish properly to finish the process.

How to Prepare Catfish after Cleaning – the Final Step

You cannot start cooking your catfish right after cleaning it as the preparation isn’t complete yet! So here is the procedure to follow to prepare the fish to bake, fry, poach, or smoke!

Cut the Fins

First, you need to cut all the fins of the fish. Take a sharp knife and carefully get rid of the fins.

Take the Gut out

Now it’s time for you to get the fish. You have to cut around the body of the fish behind the gills. Then pull the guts out without damaging any organs.

Pull of the Skin

From the head down, pull the skin of the catfish. Now that the slime is gone, you can do that pretty quickly. And if you find it complicated, you can use a pair of skinner pliers for that.

But you won’t need this tool when your fish is medium-sized.

Fillet the Fish

Always use an excellent-quality fillet knife to do this task. Fillet the fish from the tail on up. You can use the fish’s backbone as the guide and let the blade’s edge follow along the ribs.

Here are some additional tips for you to make the process simpler for you.

  • The fins and bones of a catfish are very spiky. As they can cause puncture wounds, be cautious while working.
  • Always use a razor-sharp and flexible knife.
  • If your fish is bigger, you can hang the fish for an effortless experience.

Wrap Up

The idea of cleaning a catfish by yourself may sound daunting, especially for beginners. But after reading this article and with a bit of practice, anyone can become an expert in no time.

Now that you know how to clean catfish before cooking, you can enjoy all the delicious meals of your dreams. So what are you waiting for?

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