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Eating seafood: how to avoid bones

There are two very simple ways to avoid bumping into a hidden bone when eating a plate of fish. The first is to buy fish from one of the larger species, which has large central spines and few small spines. The second way is to remove the small bones from a flat or round fish.

The benefits of bigger and firmer meat fish

Tuna and monkfish are two main examples of larger fish. Both have firm-textured meat, strong spines, and few of the smaller side bones. Tuna is considered very similar to lean beef, and monkfish on par with prawns and lobster. The recipe alternatives from around the world for both fish are enormous. Search the Internet for cooking suggestions, from the simplest to the most complex. You will be able to create a wonderful meal without bones.

How to remove thorns from the most complex fish species

A few years ago I had dinner with a business associate who ordered Whitebait as a starter. Whitebait are tiny pencil-thin fish covered in milk, seasoned flour, fried, and eaten whole. My colleague decided to fillet all the fish. It took him a while to worry about waiters and kitchen staff wondering how long it would be before serving the main course.

His expectation of a boneless piece of fish was a bit extreme. In most people, the concern is to eliminate the hidden and lurking throat killer: the little pin. Ask your fish supplier for help in removing them, and voice your concerns about any leftover fish you buy. If you still find a bone in your fillet on your return home, try another fish supplier next time.

If no help is available, complete the task on your own. You can easily find the bones. They are usually found on the stomach wall or along the fish in the center of the fillet. Feeling gently around you will find them. With a set of forceps the smaller bones will be removed, with a small hand filleting knife to cut the bones in the stomach wall. You’ll end up with a totally bone-free steak and all your worries can be put to rest.

With some types of firm-textured flatfish, such as Dover sole, there is no need to fillet the fish. You will find that after cooking, the fillet can be easily removed from the fish carcass.

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