Precious, precious salmon head

Look at this beast! For $2! And possibly free in future! I think I’m switching fishmonger.

Can't believe people throw this away

For reference, that head is the size of my hand with all fingers outstretched. And it includes the bottom half of the salmon collar.

Mr Fishmonger says he will give me these for free if I am a regular (free!! free!! My Singaporean within rejoices, and I’m not even Singaporean). However, I can’t decide whether he is just bribing me to buy his other stuff with the offer of free fish head. But free fish head is free fish head. One doesn’t sniff at free fish head.

I feel a bit like a cat that someone has bribed to be friends with them using leftover dinner.

I wonder if he has other types of fish head too.

My mother thought I was depriving myself when I excitedly shared news of my purchase with her. She was all: “are you eating properly? Don’t starve yourself to save money!” She didn’t quite grasp that I specifically wanted the fish head, and asked 3 different fishmongers for it, simply because salmon head is awesome.

If you haven’t tried it, lock your squeamishness in a box and give it a go. It’s a really fatty part of the fish with lots of smooth flesh (much more moist than salmon steak), and crispy skin all over when done well.

We dumped the bones / fins in a slow cooker with some water, onions, salt, and pepper. There was so much fatty salmon goodness that the resulting stock tasted almost creamy.  Hello udon noodle soup. Another post, maybe.

The salmon head became this roasted amazingness you see below. Prompting a discussion of the merits of a simple dinner of a (whole) salmon head each, and rice. Looks like I need to get 2 salmon heads next time.

Salmon head in teriyaki sauce

Roasted Teriyaki Salmon Head 

Teriyaki sauce based on the one used by Just Bento, but with substitutions the sake.

Salmon head + collar
Salt

2 tablesp soya sauce
3 tablesp sushi vinegar
1 tablesp rice vinegar
1 tablesp sugar

  1. Wash the salmon head and collar, and rub with a little salt. Set aside for half an hour.
  2. Wipe the salmon with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Mix the sauces and sugar in a small bowl, and pour over salmon. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Roast in an oven for around 15 minutes or so at 220 degrees C, until the skin is a little charred on the edges and the fish is cooked through. If your salmon head is large, you may need to flip it over and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.
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Japanese Food-Smuggling

I like onigiri. Very much. It’s satisfying and fun, and a bit of a novelty to me to be honest. But it’s a bit of a hassle (because I’m slow and not a professional Japanese food person).

What that means is that I need an excuse for onigiri, else I feel like I’m spending far too much time on what is essentially a snack.

Raw salmon is one of the prettiest raw fish in my opinion Salmon spa therapy Probably it's a bit black because of the sugar in the sushi vinegar Flaked and back in the pan

Watching Batman in on Imax  in a country that doesn’t seem to understand the greatness of caramel popcorn is a reasonable excuse. Seriously, Melbournians. Do you not know what a crime this is? Cinema without caramel popcorn?

If anyone finds a cinema with awesome caramel popcorn in Melbourne, give me a shout because I’d love to know about it. Until then, please don’t squeal on  me as I smuggle food into the movies. I’ll share, promise!

Furikakeeee-haiMisshapen yes. Remember what I said about not being a professional Japanese food person?Back to the onigiri – this filling keeps well and is a little more exciting than the tuna filling I used here. Apparently it also freezes well. I didn’t have any leftover to freeze because I ate the remainder on rice for lunch with asparagus. You can sprinkle it on pretty much anything 🙂

(Mini) lunch

Spicy Salmon Furikake

Adapted from Just Bento. As I might have mentioned before, I don’t generally cook with wine so I’ve subbed out the mirin.

You can find the onigiri rice and shaping method here, I didn’t fry them this time – I just wrapped them in clingwrap. Keep them at room temperature if you’re going to eat them soon, else you can stash them in the fridge. I’ve frozen onigiri as well for a week or two (but the rice gets a little hard). If you freeze/fridge them, you can either zap them in the microwave for a few seconds and then eat once they reach room temperature, or just wait for them to warm up naturally.

1 slab of salmon – mine wasn’t that big, as you cansee
Approx 1/4 cup sushi vinegar – to steam
2 tablesp sushi vinegar – to fry
2-3 teasp soya sauce – I added 2 first, and then a third because it was a little sweetish
1-2 teasp sugar – taste it and see what you like
Chilli flakes to taste
A bunch of salt

  1. Rub the salmon with salt and stick it in the fridge for at least an hour to dry out.
  2. Wipe any moisture off the fish, then put it in a non-stick frying pan (or a normal pan, skin side down if your fish has skin). Pour in about a 1/4 of a cup of sushi vinegar.  I also added a little bit of oil to prevent stickage. Cover the pan and steam the fish over medium heat, until most of the sushi vinegar has evaporated and the fish is cooked through.
  3. Take the salmon out and flake it with a fork.
  4. Wipe out the inside of the frying pan, then throw the fish flakes back in. Add 2 tablesp of sushi vinegar, the soya sauce, and sugar. Taste and rebalance if you find it a bit sweet or salty. Keep stirring, the heat should be on medium.
  5. Keep going until the furikake gets as dry as you want it to be. As you can see mine was still a little moist. When you’re done, shake in a few chilli flakes and stir (I put in quite a bit more than a few…)