“A fish is much more than a fillet. The head, bones, skin and fins can account for half the weight of each fish, but rarely make it onto your plate.” — Fishful Future
In an effort to use as much of my recent salmon catch as possible, I’ve been creating dishes with the typically discarded parts of the fish, such as the ribs, head and eggs.
With the ribs, I made my family’s favorite — Smoked Salmon Ribs — that I have written about in previous articles. They are far too delicious not to share (if you haven’t seen that recipe published, you can find it on my Instagram at @thekitchenwild or feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m happy to send it your way.) This recipe is incredible on just about any cut of any fish!
With the eggs I made Fried Salmon Roe w/ Spicy Sriracha Dipping Sauce and a Salmon Roe Crostini w/ Brown Butter and Thyme.
The Fried Salmon Roe was absolutely terrible — don’t try this at home folks, you will immediately regret it.
However, I actually kind of enjoyed the Salmon Roe Crostini w/ Brown Butter and Thyme though. The brown butter and thyme gave the salmon roe a really nice savory flavor. Paired with a crisp baguette, sweet cherry tomato and chives, it was a well balanced bite. Would I eat it again? Yes. Would I prefer this appetizer with thinly sliced salmon filet instead? Also yes.
All in all, it was pretty OK, and very simple to make. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to give this recipe a try, I have included it.
But my favorite use of this salmon so far has been Crispy Salmon Head Curry. It was so incredibly delicious! The salmon head was super meaty and flavorful, with the collar and cheeks being a couple of the most delicious parts of this fish. Served with a spicy yellow curry and a side of jasmine rice, this meal will certainly be one I repeat with my salmon heads from here on out. Honestly, even without the curry to go with it, these Crispy Salmon Heads are so fantastic. I’ve actually eaten them three times this week already.
Crispy Salmon Head Curry
1 salmon head
Tempura mix (use per directions)
Club soda (for tempura mix)
Oil for frying fish head
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
Bell peppers (I used small red, purple and green farmers market peppers for this)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (13.5 ounce) can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons yellow curry paste
2 tablespoons peanut butter (I prefer creamy peanut butter)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh basil, cilantro and chives for garnish
• Preheat oil to 375 degrees
• Mix tempura mix with club soda per directions. Fully coat salmon head in batter and fry until golden brown.
• In a large skillet or stock pot on medium heat, add coconut oil, peppers and garlic, sauté until peppers are cooked.
• Add coconut milk, yellow curry paste, peanut butter, red pepper flakes and salt and simmer for approximately 5 minutes.
• Add your crispy salmon head. Garnish with fresh basil, cilantro and chives and serve with a side of jasmine rice.
For the adventurous eaters:
Salmon Roe Crostini w/ Brown Butter and Thyme
1/4 cup butter
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
Fresh salmon roe
Toasted baguette slices
Cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, cooking the butter until it begins to foam and brown specks float up through the foam.
Add salmon roe and fresh thyme and sauté until salmon roe is cooked through.
Place approximately a tablespoon-sized amount atop toasted baguette slices.
Top with cherry tomatoes and chives.