How to Clean a Red Snapper Fish

Updated February 21, 2017

The red snapper fish is a culinary delight that can be consumed in various forms. However, cleaning the fish is vital so you can enjoy its delicate flavour and moist form without worrying about getting sick. The firm white meat has to be cleaned well so that you can cook it in a method of your choice. Some of the common forms of cooking the red snapper include broiling, steaming, baking, poaching, grilling and frying. The task of cleaning the red snapper is relatively easy, and even amateurs can do it.

Spread a newspaper on a countertop or table. Wash the fish and dab it dry with the kitchen paper or newspaper. Lay it out on the table.

Use the kitchen scissors to cut the dorsal fin of the snapper very carefully. Remember that the spiny back of the snapper needs to be handled with care. It is best to go slowly if you are not an ace with kitchen knives.

Scale the fish slowly with the scaling knife. Keep the red snapper over the newspaper or kitchen paper. The dull side of a butter knife can also be used.

Rinse the fish of the scale remnants, and then pat it dry with a kitchen towel.

Use a fillet knife to cut the stomach of the snapper. Begin at the pectoral fin and cut all the way to the tail. Remove the guts with your fingers. Make sure that everything inside is removed. Rinse out the cavity of the fish with water.

Shear or slice off the pair of pectoral fins of the snapper with the help of the kitchen scissors. Snip off its anal fin at its bottom rear end with the scissors. Again, rinse the snapper with water and then pat the fish dry. The snapper can be stored in the refrigerator, and even over ice, for later use.


Substitute the scaling of the red snapper by filleting it. The fish tastes the best when it is caught fresh. Bake it whole or consume it in stuffed forms


Be careful while handling the scissors and knife. Make sure you get rid of all the right glands.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper or kitchen paper
  • Countertop or table
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Scaling knife or butter knife
  • Fillet knife
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About the Author

Giselle Diamond is a freelance writer and has been writing since 1999. Diamond is experienced in writing in all genres and subjects, with distinguished experience in home and garden, culture and society, literature and psychology. Diamond has a Master of Arts in English and psychology from New York University. Diamond has articles published on both eHow and LiveStrong.