Fish to he served whole are cleaned through the gills in order to maintain their shape. If the fish is cleaned by your fishmonger, make sure you specify “through the gills”. If the stomach is cut open, it will curl unattractively during cooking.
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STEP 1: Hook your fingers through the gills and pull them out.
STEP 2: Reach through the gill opening and pull out the stomach contents.
STEP 3: With scissors, make a small slit at the ventral or stomach opening and pull out any remaining contents.
TAKE CARE ! The gills can be quite sharp so be careful when putting in your fingers.
STEP 4: Run cold water into the gill opening and out through the ventral opening to clean the cavity thoroughly. “Cold running water cleans stomach cavity thoroughly”