I have a great solution for people who don’t eat fish heads because they don’t like the eyes staring at them. Eat the eyes first, then there’s nothing to stare with!

When I made my very helpful suggestion to an ang moh friend who didn’t like ocular animal parts, he thought I was kidding. So I promptly dug out one of the eyes that was causing him distress, and popped it in my mouth. It was so smooth and soft, it just glided down my throat.

Mmmmm . . . oishi! Delicious! Do you want the other one?”

“Er . . . no, thanks!”

So I ate the left eye as well. He had no idea what he was missing! And he still looked horrified, shrinking back in his chair, even though there were no more fish eyes staring at him. God knows why!

In case you don’t know, the soft stuff much coveted by eye connoisseurs like myself are the muscles that attach the eye to the socket. I eat the entire eyeball except for the white round thingy and sac. Which are, I think, the lens and lens sac but I’m not 100% sure.

There isn’t much meat on a salmon head but the little there is comprises the choicest parts of the entire fish. The ‘collar’ – or front part of the neck if the fish had a neck – is full of fat that melts in the mouth. The cheeks just beneath the eyes are moist and smooth as silk. Then there’re the fish lips – stand aside, Angelina Jolie! – charred to perfection.

Meow meeoow miaaw miiaao . . . .’

See? The fish experts agree with me!


(Recipe for 1 person)

½ salmon head, cleaned and rinsed
½ tsp salt
1 wedge lemon

Dry fish head thoroughly with paper towels. If possible, refrigerate for a few hours, uncovered and placed on a rack, to help the fish head dry out. Or you could use a hair dryer!

Preheat grill. Line grill tray with aluminium foil. Place grill rack in the tray.

Sprinkle ¼ tsp salt on cut side of fish head. Grill till slightly charred with oven door ajar, 7-8 minutes. Fish fat should start bubbling and spitting after 5 minutes. Turn fish over. Sprinkle skin side with remaining ¼ tsp salt. Again, grill till slightly charred, 7-8 minutes. Serve immediately with wedge of lemon on the side.

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