Why is a utensil used for serving fish called a “fish slice”?



When it comes to serving fish, one of the essential utensils that we need is a fish slice. It is commonly used to lift and transfer fish from the pan to the plate. But have you ever wondered why it is called a fish slice? In this article, we will delve into the history and evolution of this utensil, its purpose, and the different types available in the market.

Origin of the fish slice

The fish slice has been in use for centuries. It is believed that the origin of the name ‘fish slice’ can be traced back to the 17th century, when fish was a staple food in England. At that time, fish was usually served on a slice of bread, which was called a “fish slice.” Over time, the name was adopted for the utensil used to serve fish.

The first fish slice

The first fish slice was a simple wooden paddle-shaped spatula, which was used to lift and serve fish. It was not until the 19th century that fish slices began to be made of metal, such as copper and silver. These metal fish slices were more durable and hygienic than their wooden counterparts.

The evolution of the fish slice

In the 20th century, fish slices started to be made of stainless steel, which made them even more durable and resistant to corrosion. The shape of the fish slice also evolved over time, with some designs featuring slots or holes to drain excess oil or water from the fish.

Why do we need a fish slice?

A fish slice is an essential tool in the kitchen when it comes to cooking and serving fish. It allows you to handle the fish without breaking it, which is especially important for delicate fish like salmon or trout. It also helps to prevent the fish from sticking to the pan, making it easier to cook and serve.

How to use a fish slice

To use a fish slice, place it under the fish and lift it gently, using the edge of the pan as leverage. Be careful not to break the fish, especially if it is delicate. Once the fish is lifted off the pan, transfer it to a plate and serve.

Different types of fish slice

There are many different types of fish slices available in the market, ranging from small to large, flat to curved, and with or without slots. Some fish slices may even have a serrated edge to help cut through the fish. It is important to choose a fish slice that suits your needs and the type of fish you are serving.

Fish slice vs. fish spatula

While fish slice and fish spatula are often used interchangeably, they are actually two different utensils. A fish slice has a flat, paddle-shaped blade, while a fish spatula has a more flexible, curved blade. Fish spatulas are often used for flipping fish in the pan, while fish slices are used more for serving.

Alternatives to a fish slice

If you don’t have a fish slice, you can use a regular spatula or tongs to serve fish. However, these utensils may not be as effective as a fish slice, as they may break the fish or not provide enough support. It is always best to use a utensil specifically designed for serving fish.


In conclusion, the fish slice has a rich history and has evolved over time to become an essential tool in the kitchen. Whether you are cooking fish at home or serving it at a restaurant, a fish slice is a must-have utensil that makes the process easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable. With so many different types of fish slices available, it is easy to find one that suits your needs and preferences.

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