Fish Head Stew?

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marmalady

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Okay - so I've got about a 5 lb grouper head in the freezer, given lovingly to me by my Sensei! We were at a local Gullah restaurant the other day, and had the 'fish head stew'; I think I can dup it at home, but was wondering if anyone had any recipes or tips?
 

Barbara L

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I don't have any recipes for this (wouldn't want one, to be honest! lol) but I found this one at Doyle's Good Fashioned Fish Recipes:

Fish Head Stew

Ask your friendly fishmonger in advance about the heads and he will be able to keep some for you.

1 large head of any fish jewfish, cod, snapper, kingfish, etc.), scaled
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons vinegar
butter
1 onion,
500 g (1 lb) mushrooms, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 dashes tabasco sauce
curry powder (optional)

Boil the fish head in sufficient water to cover it. Add salt, pepper and vinegar. After it has come to the boil, simmer slowly for 20 minutes. Be careful not to break its shape.
Fry the vegetables carefully in a little butter. Keep stirring them so that they do not burn.
Pour water off the fish head and add the vegetables. Make a paste of the cornflour with a little water, and the worcestershire and tabasco sauces. Stir in curry, if desired. Add to the fish and vegetables and cook gently for 10 minutes or so (depending on the size of the fish head).
Place in a baking dish or large casserole and serve with the head in a "swimming" position, the vegetables surrounding it.
Serve this dish with fresh fried chips. You'll need fingers, thumbs and a spoon!

************************
I hope this helps.

:) Barbara
 

marmalady

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Sweet pic of the little ones, Barb!

The stew we had was more like a 'Manhattan clam chowder' taste; the meat had been picked off the fish head, so there were just little pieces in teh soup - I don't think I could handle the whole thing in a bowl, either, lol!
 

Barbara L

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The one you had definitely sounds better! lol If I find anything like that, I'll let you know.

Those are my grandkids, Andrew and Hannah. That picture is actually about a year and a half old. They lost their camera on a trip over a year ago and will be getting a new one soon, so hopefully I will have a new picture to replace this one soon. I live almost 3,000 miles from them, so I can't take any pictures right now. :(

:) Barbara
 

Psiguyy

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My mother used to make fish soup and she loved it. I don't know why because I could never stand it.
 

buckytom

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i've had it in an asian restaurant once, made with crab legs and claws, and a few whole heads. it was very spicy, and very good. just try not to look into it's eyes when eating it, lol. kinda like eating chinese snails in black bean sauce. just suck them out of their shells, but don't look at them (they look like slugs). some things look gross but taste great!
 

marmalady

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Finally put a recipe together yesterday! The fish market had huge snapper frames for $2 and I couldn't resist! Here's what I came up with:

FISH HEAD STEW

Stock:

1 large fish head and frame (snapper, grouper, salmon)*
1 chopped onion
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 bay leaves

Place all in a pot, add water to cover, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. Strain liquid from stock into a large bowl. Discard vegetables. Pick the meat from the fish head and frame and save in a bowl.

Soup:

1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
½ each red and green bell pepper, diced
2 parsnips, diced
about 5-6 parsley stalks
4 tablespoons oil


In a large pot on medium high, heat the oil and sautee all the above till soft.

Add:

3 medium potatoes, diced into about ½ inch cubes
About a gallon of the fish stock
1 large can peeled or diced tomatoes
1 cup V-8 juice
3 tablespoons salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to your liking)
2 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. celery seed
2 tablespoons worchestershire sauce

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about an hour.

Add:

The saved fish meat
1 can chopped clams*
8-9 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, cut in thirds*

Add some chopped parsley at the end for garnish.

* These were added just 'cause I had some leftovers in the freezer!
*Warning - if you've never cooked a fish head in water, the eyes do some very 'interesting' things!:eek:
 
Last edited:

marmalady

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Well - if you reaaaally have to know - they turn white and fall out of the socket - so there's these little white marble sized balls floating around in the stock.:sick:
 

foodaholic

Senior Cook
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Jul 18, 2002
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136
Remove the gills from the heads,otherwise they can impart a bitter taste.

I would get lots of salmon fish heads from my monger and
simmer them and remove the cheeks and the muscle behind the eyes for a pasta dish,quite yummy.
 

COOKITUP

Assistant Cook
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
1
Hey Marmalady!

I too have fish bodies that need to be consumed! Please tell me how this fish head stew turned out! Sounds great!

What should I put in instead of parsnips?

email me at lhuston@carolina.rr.com Thank!
 

marmalady

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The fish head stew is marvelous - and made a ton, and freezes well, too! Also ended up with leftover stock to use for other dishes.

Sub more carrots for the parsnips, or turnips even, although I don't see why you wouldn't use the parsnips themselves; they're readily available most places now.
 
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