Tag Archives: clean

How to clean fish: fish fabrication for beginners

I can’t forget the day our school taught us how to fabricate fish. I already knew the basics of fish fabrication—the culinary term for butchering or cutting the fish into the desired parts you want—because at home, if the househelp’s not there and my mom forgot to have the fish fabricated before bringing it home, I have the duty to remove its gills, scales, and insides.

At first, the smell was unbearable.  I had to wash my hands multiple times, even to the point of taking a bath just to remove the fishy smell.  If you have a weak stomach, then this job isn’t really for you.  Good thing I was used to these kinds of things.

raw fish fabrication
Whoa smelly

That day in school, when all of my classmates had to fabricate a single fish, I ended up doing two.  I was so confident in doing the first one that I really took my time, from scaling it to removing the bones.  My instructor happened to be very strict.  He even counted the bones, because some fish have specific number of bones in them.  I actually took the wrong fish! What I fabricated was the fish that we’ll use for our dishes and not the fish that’s supposed to be our test.  I only had a few more minutes left, and had to redo the whole thing :O

On to today’s lesson: for the beginner, my first advice is to get yourself a sharp knife.  Actually, if you’re really interested in cooking, good knives are worth the investment.  I collect some myself because they make my life a lot easier at the kitchen.  There are other tools that you can use when scaling a fish, but I still do the old method, which is to use the back of the knife and rub it on the opposite direction of the scales.

Try practicing too on fish like tilapia and milkfish.  They’re easy to fabricate and you don’t really need to remove a lot of things, unless you’re filleting them.

When you start fabricating a fish, try doing it in running water.  Make sure the water’s not too powerful, just strong enough so that while gutting the fish, all the blood and other remnants will easily come out.

Removing the gills takes some force.  It’s a little bit tricky because you might pull the whole head of the fish in the process.  Feel it first.  If the fish is fresh, you’d still see the gills and its whole diaphragm.  After feeling it, give it a one pull.  If not, then you can put it in running water and just remove whatever’s left inside the head.

Cutting the insides of a fish is easier than you think.  Just make sure you have a sharp knife and cut a few centimeters away from the stomach itself.  With milkfish, avoid cutting too near the stomach because there’s fat around it, which is a favorite among Filipinos. Again, you’ll need to feel the insides of a fish.  Insert your hand into the tiny, slanted cut you made and locate the intestines, liver and stomach content of the fish.  If you’re able to do so, make sure that in one pull you’ll be able to take out everything.  But in case something bursts inside, like maybe the liver, don’t worry, because you can always clean it with running water.

After removing the insides, and scaling the fish, the last thing you’ll have to do is cut the fins (wings).  I like to cut them because when you fry a fish, they spread and I don’t like the look of it.  There are some people, though, who like to eat them,  so it’s really up to you.  But seriously, just cut a few centimeters off and it’ll make the fish look prettier.

This post was written by Rita Salonga.

Decluttering: 5 Simple Ways to Do It

Every time you go to your closet, look at your books, go to your kids’ rooms, or open your kitchen cabinet, you see that life can be much simpler. Clutter creates stress and when you’re stressed, the rest of the day goes haywire. But you see it every day… so what do you do?

Declutter! Simple? Not really. Some people just rearrange things and that’s just so different from decluttering. Pretty soon you’ll be looking at piles of stuff you’ll accumulate along the way and you’ll be forced to declutter anyway. So how do you do it?

Here are 5 tips to help you get going in the right direction.

organized dishes
Visualize your end result.

1. Visualize – Picture in your head (or draw if you can) what you want each room and each part of your home to look like. Having a picture of what you want something to look like does more than just give you good feelings. It actually forces you to prioritize things that will fit into your vision. When you’re able to see what you want your room to look like, chances are, you’ll be more ready to give up stuff that you really don’t need.

2. Personalize – The only way to make your rooms and spaces consistently clutter-free in a fun way is to personalize it. How can personalizing a room or space keep it free from clutter? When you personalize a room, you’d have to sort things in your head before putting up a new display or item. Having a space that’s personalized creates a theme that will keep you from placing just anything there except those that go well with that space. It also keeps you from buying stuff that don’t belong there as well.

3. Digitize – Much of the clutter you have most probably comes from things that have sentimental value. Your child’s first baby clothes, his singing contest trophy, the tickets from your first date, a gift from your mom, etc., have a way of creating memories that you just can’t let go of them for any reason.

But if you think about it, it’s not really the stuff you have with you that matters, it’s the memories that come along with the stuff. With today’s digital age, you have an opportunity to keep the memories without completely letting go of your keepsakes. Taking digital photos of souvenirs, mementos, family heirlooms, and even special greeting cards will give you the chance to keep them even when you let go of the items. The feeling you get with sentimental items will still be there when you look at their photos as well. In fact, digitizing them will help preserve them more than if you were to keep them. You can even create digital photo albums or digital scrapbooks of them, too.

Digitizing sentimental items makes it easier for you to let go of them and in turn gives you more space in your home.

Boxes can help you categorize your stuff into things to keep, things to give away, and things to sell.

4. Prioritize – Whenever you declutter, it’s always good to have at least three kinds of boxes to sort your stuff into three categories: things to keep, things to give away, and things to sell. When you do this, you’re prioritizing everything you see into just three categories which makes it easier to filter them. A case can be made for a fourth one: things to consider. If you’re like me, there are times when you can’t figure out which box something belongs to. Having a fourth box will give you time to consider your options and keep you from making rash decisions.

5. Organize – One of the results of having too much stuff is having stuff that don’t belong together in the same place. After having filled your three or four boxes, it’s time to sort through your things-to-keep box and things-to-consider box. Survey the space you have and then put stuff where they should belong based on what you visualized earlier. Chances are, you’ll have stuff that don’t fit in the space you have but are essential to you.

This time you’ll be needing storage boxes to put all those things that you need but don’t necessarily have to be seen. You can place these boxes in storage rooms, your cabinet, or under your bed for easy retrieval.

Decluttering can be a tedious and stressful process but remember it can’t be done in a day—so don’t even try! It took you months or even years to get to where you are now so it will take you about a week to completely declutter your home. If you follow the tips we’ve outlined for you, decluttering can be fun and fulfilling especially after you experience the functional benefits of your hard work.

This post was written by Nicole So.