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So, I've got this Cod's head...

ScubaSteve Jun 21, 2009 01:55 PM

on a recent deep sea trip another fisherman pulled in a 46pound whopper of a cod. as i was watching the deck hand filet out the day's catch and toss the frames and innards to the waiting gulls i thought "what can i do with that giant cod head?"

so, now i have the head in my freezer. it weighs about 15 pounds and the cheeks are still intact.

does anyone have a good recipe for fish head soup? i'm thinking something with Asian flair but any advice is welcome.

thanks in advance!
SS

  1. greygarious Mar 24, 2010 02:56 PM

    Upon Julia Child's recommendation to make fish stock from heads and frames, MANY years ago I got a fish head from a long-gone fish market. If memory serves, it was probably cod, and about 10#. I didn't know any particulars, so I simmered the head with onion, carrot, and celery, for however long it took for things to start falling apart. The end result was gray and semi-opaque, and didn't taste like much. I wound up picking out the hard parts and giving the rest to the cats, who ate it but not enthusiastically. I didn't remove the gills because I didn't know I was supposed to. Was this the reason, or did I do something else wrong? I haven't tried making fish stock since, but would like to.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious
      Sam Fujisaka Mar 24, 2010 03:36 PM

      You need to simmer the heads and frames - and some carrots, celery and aromatics - at a very low simmer and for not more than 40 minutes. I use chachama - an Amazon fish good for lots of collagen and a thick gelatinous stock. No gills, no fins!

    2. j
      joonjoon Mar 24, 2010 01:12 PM

      My roommate and I just picked up about 25 lbs of cod trimmings from the local fishmonger...

      Just slapped the collar and body on the grill and tore through it - there's plenty of meat on the carcasses! Next one's getting the misoyaki treatment. LOVE Sam's split and grilled head suggestion btw.

      Now we still got a ton of heads and bodies to go through....ScubaSteve, what did you end up doing with your cod head?

      2 Replies
      1. re: joonjoon
        ScubaSteve Mar 24, 2010 01:56 PM

        i did a Asian style stew using a fish stock base with ginger, lemongrass, red bean paste, star anise and a bunch of other stuff i can't remember now. once the head was done i split it and served one half in the broth and the other went under the broiler where i brushed it with a reduction of the stew liquid and some chili powders.

        1. re: joonjoon
          Sam Fujisaka Mar 24, 2010 02:04 PM

          jj & SS, we may be spreading the word about a good thing: split broiled heads! I forgot to add cold beer to go along with the fish and rice.

        2. raygunclan Jun 23, 2009 11:08 AM

          i have to admit...
          i just love the title of this thread!!! (c;

          1 Reply
          1. re: raygunclan
            ScubaSteve Jun 23, 2009 11:32 AM

            i was half expecting someone to ask where i bought my hats.

          2. Sam Fujisaka Jun 22, 2009 11:11 AM

            I'd cut and split down the center and broil with just some salt added. Eat using chopsticks; serve with hot rice and a spicy dipping sauce. Use the bones for stock.

            1. h
              HLing Jun 21, 2009 07:03 PM

              I'd kill for the brain! Could you sort of describe the size of the brain mass when you're done? I'm curious and not a little jealous.

              I haven't looked through all the links goodhealthgourmet provided, but just to say that the Chinese Clay Pot Fishhead usually involves browning the fish head like you would with meat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: HLing
                ScubaSteve Jun 22, 2009 06:35 AM

                if i can i'll post some pics this weekend.

                here's the head before freezing:
                http://www.flickr.com/photos/10561724...

              2. Boccone Dolce Jun 21, 2009 02:38 PM

                Ohhhhhhh that sounds like fun- leave it right out front, standing up & send unsuspecting people into your freezer for 'ice'.

                (I have nothing of value to add, I would play with it but probably not deal well with the boiling of it and the eyes.... I've watched Batali do stuff with cheeks before-he'd have good recipes if you like Italian.)

                1. goodhealthgourmet Jun 21, 2009 02:08 PM

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/363860
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/276190
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/499652
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/421166
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/310258
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/448969

                  the search function can be surprisingly useful ;)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    ScubaSteve Jun 21, 2009 02:59 PM

                    crap! thanks for those links.
                    i'm actually embarrassed as i'm the one who usually touts the search-the-board thing.

                    1. re: ScubaSteve
                      goodhealthgourmet Jun 21, 2009 04:48 PM

                      it's ok, even i did it once a couple of months ago, and i still cringe when i think about it ;)

                      oh, and for the record, you are one lucky hound. cod cheeks...yum!

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