How To Teach Your Kid to Scale and Gut a Fish

Vacations are a time for fun and relaxation and for spending quality time with your families. For most kids, it is a break from school and learning, and for parents, it’s a time to just unwind in a comfortable locale with their kids. No matter how you look at it, a vacation is a time to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, which is why Siesta Key beachfront rentals are the perfect backdrop for your next vacation. However, parents can still use this vacation to teach their kids some incredible new skills.

fish fillets

By choosing Siesta Key as your next vacation spot, you are choosing a location that is bursting with fresh fish just waiting to be caught and made the star of your next big dish! However, the idea of prepping the fish is what usually throws people off. What if there was an easy way to scale and gut the fish and teach your kids some culinary skills in the process? Spending time together in the kitchen is one of the many activities for families in Siesta Key. Give it a try today!

Choose The Right Recipe

It sounds simplistic, but you need to make sure that the correct recipe is chosen so that you know how to prepare your fish. Some vacation recipes require you to leave the skin on, as it holds in the moisture and makes your fish that much juicier. Other recipes will have you fillet the fish, giving a different texture altogether. How you prepare your fish is important for each individual recipe, so always start here. 

Get Your Tools Ready

A butter knife is easiest to scale a fish, so that will be the first tool you need to grab. A sharp knife is necessary for some of the cuts and will make certain parts easier to manage. You also want to have a few kitchen baggies and a bowl ready. 

seasoned fish fillets on cutting boards

Get Started

Head to a place where you can clean up easy and start scaling the fish by running your butter knife from tail to head. Once you have finished scaling the fish, you need to make a cut in the vent of the fish (where you would imagine a chin) down to the tail. You will then reach in and pinch near the place where you made the first cut (where everything feels attached) and pull out everything all the way down. Carefully cut the liver away from the backbone, and the swim bladder, which should be attached to the cavity of the fish. Finally, remove the gills of the fish (which can cause a bitter taste if left) and you will be left with the perfect fish for cooking! 

This is where you will then need to figure out what kind of cut is required for the rest of the process. If you need to fillet the fish, you will need a sharp knife. Perhaps you are grilling the fish in the skin, which means you are technically done and ready to cook after the above processes are complete.

Be careful when reading your recipe and follow it very closely!

Your kids may be a little squeamish at first, but once they have watched you tackle the first one, they can begin on the next parts. Make sure they are careful around the fins, as they can be sharp! If your kids aren’t too thrilled on the gutting idea, have them handle the recipe choice and carefully picking out the spices and herbs that will be needed. You can also speak to some of the local seafood restaurants in Sarasota, many of which would be happy to walk you through the process as well. 

The good news is that once you are ready to start the cooking process, you will have a gorgeous kitchen to use as the backdrop of your culinary masterpiece, as our Siesta Key vacation rentals have some amazing kitchens to boast about! If you are ready to book your next vacation, pick up the phone and call 941.349.7777 and let one of our amazing customer service representatives help you out!

Contact Us

Peppertree Bay Association
6056 Midnight Pass Road
Sarasota, Florida USA 34242

T 941.349.7777
F 941.346.0371


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