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Removing the Pin Bones from Sablefish (Black Cod)

Sablefish 101: Pin bones

    Photo by Grace Parisi

    How do I remove sablefish pin bones?

    • Removing the pin bones in raw sablefish is difficult and not recommended. Once cooked, the pin bones are easy to remove with fish tweezers.
    • Another option is to make a Y-shaped cut. Find the line of pin bones by running your finger across the fillet. Make a cut through the flesh down to the skin on either side of the pine bones. Remove the strip of meat containing the pin bones. Feel the fillet with your fingers to ensure all pin bones have been removed.

    A sablefish fillet before (top) and after (bottom) removing pin bones with a Y-cut.

    Do I have to remove the pin bones?

    Nope. Culinary Director Grace Parisi suggests you can avoid the trouble by simply eating around sablefish pin bones.

    Why are there pin bones in my sablefish?

    We’ve decided to leave pin bones in the sablefish we process for a number of reasons:

    • Whole portions are easier to handle and cook.
    • Leaving the pin bones in sablefish portions allows us to remove less of the flesh and reduce waste.
    • Quality: Leaving the pin bones in maintains the integrity and texture of the portion.


    Want to get the most out of your sablefish? Whether you like a traditional pan-seared sablefish recipe or love the ginger and soy flavors of Cantonese cuisine, our culinary team has you covered.

    Check out our one-time boxes and subscriptions to fill your freezer with wild-caught Alaska sablefish!

    Culinary Director Grace Parisi's Pan-Seared Sablefish recipe.