How to Cook and Clean Grass Carp

Last Updated: 09.08.20


Grass carp is a common type of fish that can be found all over the world. It is a freshwater species, and it’s caught both for feeding, but also for aquatic weed control. It can grow within the range of 40 pounds to 110 pounds. Catching grass carp can be done with a variety of rod and reel combos, so choose the one that’s in accordance with your skill level and the waters you’re doing your angling in.

In order to fish for these fish, you can use vegetables, as they are a herbivorous species, which rarely eat normal types of bait. If you go fishing to consume them, you should also know how to correctly clean and cook them.

Before actually cooking the fish, there are a few steps you need to take in order to prepare them.

Scaling grass carp

In order to clean a fish, you need to wash it and then start scaling it. Dealing with the scales can prove to be a little messy, especially if you do not have experience. The diameter of a scale measures about three-quarters of an inch for a grass carp of 10 pounds. The scales can be removed by scraping them off.

One good thing about the grass carp is that they do not have the scales so stuck to their bodies, therefore making the scaling process a bit less difficult than in the case of other species.

Another aspect to take into consideration is that the scales dry very fast as they shrivel up, and they start flying all around. As they dry, they are also hard to clean, so you might think twice about where you want to do this. If you want to use the sink, you should lock your drains as the scales can clog them. It is also advisable to clean the scales right after you are done.


Cutting and gutting the grass carp

If you think that by scaling the fish you are done with the nasty part, you are far from the truth. Next, you need to cut the fish and remove its guts. The lucky part is that grass carp is less difficult to prepare than other fish.

The first step is to cut from the vent up to the underside of the jaw and right down to the pelvic fins. Once you have done this, you need to pull the internal organs out. The insides come out quite easily, except for the carp’s grinding mechanism, which is located in their throats.

Another specific thing about grass carp is that its skin is very light. Therefore, you do not need to remove it, and it will not affect the taste.

Cooking grass carp

Once the cleaning part is done, you should also fillet it, because carp is very bony. The best way is to fillet the flesh from the ribs, by cutting along with the bones, thereby making the fish much easier to eat.

When it comes to the actual cooking, you have a number of options, as you have with another type of similar sized fish. For example, you can fry the grass carp in the pan, you can bake it, make fish soup out of it, as well as try out other recipes you might be interested in.   

The use of condiments is recommended because fish, in general, has a very subtle taste.


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