Cuts of Fish – What to Know

When approaching the seafood counter at your local market, you might feel confused. There’s often a massive range of different fish cuts for you to choose from ,so it’s easy to choose the wrong kind for you! Fish cuts serve as one of the best sources of protein and fatty acids. So, we have created a guide which will help you to better understand which cut of fish is best for your needs.

Fillet Fish Cut

The fillet fish cut is a very meaty one, taken from the side of the animal, and sliced along the spine. In this form, the fish cuts take on the natural shape of the cut, as opposed to a specific shape or size. Fillets also have the bone removed, though they can still contain smaller ones. When preparing this cut, you usually remove the skin, as well.

Cuts of fish from salmon often come available as a fillet, and sometimes as sole. You also have cod, perch, trout, bass, and walleye available as a fillet cut of fish. Fillet is one of the more common cuts. It is very easy to cook and eat. When preparing them, sauteing or poaching is ideal to bring out the best flavour possible.

Fish fillets are an incredibly meaty cut. Additionally, most of the bones are removed.

Darne Fish Cuts

The darne is also known as steak. This is a thick, cross section cut around the fish. The darne fish cut contains part of the backbone. Additionally, it is most often made from swordfish, tuna, and salmon. For the ideal portion, cut them to around 1.5-2.5cm, skinning and scaling as needed. Don’t skin or scale salmon, though!

Supreme Cut of Fish

The “supreme” cut of fish comes from a fillet, but sliced at a slant. Many consider supreme to be the best, most choice cut, hence the name. It’s also known as a pave, and has all the bones removed from the fillet.

Darne Fish cuts

Darne fish cuts are also known as steaks. Avoid skinning or scaling them!

Butterfly Cuts of Fish

The butterfly, or cutlet, are cuts of fish that begin as a fillet. Make this cut by slicing one side of the fish from behind the head, and around the stomach, and then taper to the tail. Repeat this process on the other side to make a “double fillet”.

Dressed and Pan-Dressed Fish

This is ideal for creating a gourmet dish. Consider using a whole fish in your next meal. Most outlets will dress a whole fish for you at no extra charge. This fish cut comes scaled, with the internal organs removed. This cut type also has the fins, tail, and head removed or cut out.


Fish don’t have “loins” in the sense that beef or lamb does. “Loin” serves as more of a marketing term which appeals to the meat fans out there. This cut of fish comes from the fillet, sliced above the spine. The loin most often comes from tuna, swordfish, and marlin.

These cuts of fish are also thick, uniform portions that have no tapering. They also have the scales and bones removed. Fish loins are usually very high quality cuts. As such, they also have a high price tag. This is mostly due to the fact that there is more cutting and trimming involved in their creation.

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