Miso Glazed Salmon Head Recipe- Cheap and Absolutely Delicious

Oh my gosh. I just had such a scrumptious supper, maybe one of the best I've had in a while. The funniest thing about it is that while I thought I was in heaven while eating it, others probably would find the thought of it absolutely revolting.
Because the centerpiece of my meal was half a salmon head. Miso glazed salmon head, that is.
Yesterday I wrote about how I got my fish heads at the farmer's market for about $1.90 each, with each head weighing in at over 2 lbs- this is an awesome price for fish round these parts. (Cheap salmon round these parts is over $5 per pound with bones- this had was roughly 95 cents per pound, so...)
Let me talk to you about fish heads, and salmon heads in particular.
First off- I know many people say "I don't want to eat something that's looking at me," or "I don't want something that looks like it was alive", and while I understand that, I would rather be fully cognizant of the fact that an animal died so my life could be sustained, and be appreciative of that, as opposed to being in denial, and pretending that that fillet or cutlet just magically appeared shrink wrapped in the grocery store, and wasn't part of a living, breathing being...
But that said- if eating something that looks like a face bothers you- just eat it upside down. Large fish heads, like salmon heads, should be sliced in half before cooking, so just turn it and eat it so the inside is facing you- you don't see any eyes then or anything too weird looking- just mainly meat and bone.

Like this- see? No face staring at you anymore.

Ok, now about texture and taste...
If you love the flavor of salmon, salmon head is simply divine. The taste is a much stronger salmon flavor. And the texture? It's super soft, with many melt-in-your-mouth-like-butter bits.
The eye, which I understand grosses many out, is surrounded by a soft ball of creaminess, that makes you want to just suck and slurp. In fact, with this amazing salmon head recipe, you'll be sucking and slurping every bone! In fact- even the fins are great to eat- you scrape them with your teeth like an artichoke leaf. And though I read that you "should" take out the gills, I didn't bother- I just enjoyed sucking them clean to remove any juices from them, even if there isn't any meat to eat on it.
And the skin, oh the skin. It was divine.

I love fish.
And I generally prefer it raw.
But this has got to be the best fish meal I've ever eaten in my life, savoring every bite.

And the added bonus? It's high in fat, and salmon fat is amazing for you- since its super high in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, etc...

Hopefully now I have you convinced to at least give salmon heads a try. You won't regret it- trust me on this one!

And now for the recipe:

Miso Glazed Salmon Head Recipe- Cheap and Absolutely Delicious

1 salmon head
1/4 cup miso (I used my dad's homemade lentil miso, but any miso should be fine)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar (feel free to replace with maple syrup, honey, or even sugar)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

1. Descale your fish head. I actually didn't do this, and I regretted it, because the skin is one of the best parts of the fish head, and you don't want to be getting any scales in your mouthful.

2. Cut the head in half, lengthwise, so you have two equal size halves.

3. Mix miso, sweetener, garlic powder, and powdered ginger together, put in a covered container, and then add the two fish head halves.

4. Shake the container so the entire fish head gets covered in the mixture, then leave to marinate for a few hours.

5. Place the fish heads, cut side down, in a baking tray. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350, then flip over and cook, cut side up, until it looks "fully cooked". Sorry, I didn't time it, but you can tell when its ready when you see the orange flesh that you can see is able to be flaked.

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6. Have a go at it! I start from the back, picking my way forward, eating what is soft, and picking up what is hard and sucking it off....

I really would recommend keeping this only for adults, since there are some tiny bones in it that you have to pick out, even though most are bigger.


P.S. If you're really the squeamish sort, and can't picture yourself having a head any time in your lifetime- consider using this marinade as a rub for a plain salmon fillet or steak.

Have you ever had fish heads? What kind? Ever have salmon heads? How did you serve the heads? Boiled in soup or stew, or roasted?
Does this look like the type of meal you'd enjoy or would you be too squeamish?

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Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I found this post so interesting! I had no idea you could actually eat fish heads. The sauce you have used with them sounds wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing this post with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.

  2. This is fascinating, and looks delicious! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  3. I your writing style rеally enjoying tһis internet site.

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