Fish heads can be the tastiest bites of the fish—and they figure prominently in many cuisines. They’re flavorful, for one thing—often more flavorful than the rest of the fish, says hillsbilly. But it’s not just a flavor thing; fish heads also offer up textural interest, from the gelatinous bits to the delicate cheek meat to the slightly crunchy eyeballs. How do you eat them? Same way you eat ribs, says ipsedixit—”Just dig in. Bibs optional.” Just eat little bits at a time, advises hillsbilly, and discard the bits of skull.
ozinboz follows this method: “Starting from the jaw, I pry off each bone that I can reach. When I find a bit of flesh that looks appetizing, I suck it off the bone. Anything that looks too gelatinous for my preference, I pile along with the rest of the discarded bones.”
And don’t be afraid of fish eyes, while you’re at it. “The eyes of a fried fish are considered prime parts in some cultures,” says JungMann. “I spent years patiently satisfying my hunger on fatty, soft cheeks or the rich flesh on the foreheads of the fish whilst I awaited the honor of chowing down on the crunchy, nutty bits that normally went to my grandparents and sundry dignitaries.”
“At home I dust salmon fish heads in corn flour and quickly deep-fry, then set aside while I make a sauce. I like sweet and vinegary,” says hillsbilly. “My son is 7; this is our treat we eat together. Husband and other kids aren’t interested. We like it like that.”
Discuss: fish heads