How to Clean Croaker Fish? 2 Easiest Way Step-by-Step Guide



Fact-Checked By: Munyem

Cleaning croaker fish is quite simple. You can wash them in various ways depending on how you want to cook them.

Some people like to keep the head on, and others prefer to take it off. I want to take the heads off because it’s easier to eliminate the fish smell.

How to Clean Croaker Fish for Fillets (Takes the Head Off)

  • Start by gutting the fish. Use a sharp knife to make a small incision below the gills and carefully remove the guts.
  • Rinse the fish inside and out with cold water.
  • Use a sharp knife or fish scaler to remove the scales from the skin.
  • Cut off the head and fins with scissors or a knife.
  • Lay the fish flat on your cutting board and make two cuts along either side of the backbone to remove it.
  • Cut the fish into fillets.
  • Rinse the fillets in fresh water and pat dry to remove any remaining blood or slime.

After cleaning it properly, Frying or Baking Croaker fish is most popular with these fillets.

How to Clean Croaker Fish (Keep the Head)

Sometimes, I like to cook the croaker whole. That’s why this cleaning process needs to keep the head attached. This process is also very similar to the other one.

  • Start by scaling the fish. Use a sharp knife to remove the scales from the tail to the head.
  •  Next, cut open the belly of the fish and remove the guts. Be careful not to puncture the gallbladder.
  •  Rinse out the inside of the fish with cold water.
  •  Now, it’s time to remove the gills. Cut them away from the body of the fish and discard them.
  •  You can now wash your croaker fish under cold running water and pat it dry with a paper towel.

Tips: The cleaning process of Yellow Croaker is the same as the normal one.

Do You Have to Scale Croaker Fish?

How to Clean Croaker Fish

No, you do not have to scale croaker. A croaker is a fish with tiny scales usually removed before cooking. Most people like to eat croaker fish without the scales.

However, if you are cooking the croaker whole (with the skin and scales intact), you must remove the scales before eating.

To do this, use a sharp knife to scrape off the scales.

How Do You Skin Croaker Fish?

Croaker fish is a popular choice for those looking to add a little seafood to their diet. Also, Croaker fish are pretty safe to eat, and they are also tasty. But before enjoying this delicious treat, you must skin the fish. Here’s how:

  • Start by cutting off the head of the croaker fish with a sharp knife.
  • Next, use your fingers or a fork to remove the scales from the skin. Be sure to work in small sections to catch all the spots.
  •  Once all the scales have been removed, rinse the fish under cold water to remove any lingering scale bits.
  • Now, it’s time to remove the guts and gills from the fish. To do this, make a small cut just behind the head and then pull out everything inside (being careful not to puncture the stomach).
  • You can also remove these organs by making an incision along the belly of the fish.
  • Finally, rinse off your croaker fish one last time, and it’s ready to be cooked!

Things to keep close

  • A sharp knife – A dull knife will make cleaning your fish more difficult and can be dangerous.
  • A cutting board – This will give you a stable surface to work on. It’s best to use a cutting board that can be easily cleaned or even disposable.
  • Gloves – You may not want to get your hands dirty, but gloves can also keep you from getting cut by a knife.
  • Fish scaler- This is a handy tool to have if you plan on scaling the fish. It can make your job easier and quicker.
  • Water- You’ll need plenty of water to clean the fish.


Cleaning a croaker fish is not difficult, but there are a few steps that must be followed.

  • First, the fish must be scaled.
  • Second, the gills and guts must be removed.
  • Finally, the fish must be washed with vinegar and water.

After following these steps, your croaker fish will be clean and ready to eat!

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