HOW TO EAT FISH HEADS?

When a group of my friends and I went to order a curry fish head  to share for lunch recently, the server looked at us skeptically and asked, "Do you know how to eat the head?”, and ending it with a declaration,“I think a lot of it will be wasted.” We looked at him and gave each other doubtful looks, finally agreeing to substitute the fish head with a fleshier part of the fish instead. To think that just last year when I was in London, I was proudly declaring to my British friends that in Singapore, we eat everything from fish eyeballs to chicken feet.

So, for those like me who doubt their fish head eating abilities, I hope that you can discover that it is actually not rocket science. For additional incentive to tackle the next head you see, you should know that fish heads often have a higher nutritional value than fillets, particularly in terms of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

To start off with, I would go straight for the very delicious fish cheeks first.

Next, I would approach the portion above the eyes which I call the fish's forehead. With the huge chunks of meat taken out, pull the head apart as you eat, piece by piece. Be adventurous! Just take small bits and discard pieces of skull, which are like fish bones in texture but not so pointy. 

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If you have already gotten this far, have a go at the eyeballs too. You might like the gelatinous texture but make sure that you do not swallow the hard pit in the middle.

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By the way, do you know that taking efforts to eat the fish head is also an indirect way of reducing fish wastage in fisheries? Norwegian fishermen alone dumped an estimated 220,000 tons of wild fish parts at sea in 2011 after processing their catch on the water, according to a report published earlier this year n the journal Trends in Food Science and Technology.

Now what are you waiting for? Go find some fish heads and eat them up now!