August 28, 2019

Salt Baked Fish Head 鹽焗魚頭

amber skipjack, baked, chinese, fish head, recipe, salt, yellowtail, 五條鰤, 鹽烤魚頭, 鹽焗魚頭

Nowadays you can get sashimi and sushi just about everywhere as folk all over have fallen in love with the deliciousness of the fresh raw fish that Japanese cuisine has introduced to the world.  Twenty years ago I'll bet most of these people could never have imagined themselves eating and loving raw fish!

One of the unexpected benefits for seafood lovers such as ourselves is the fact that supermarkets that produce sashimi and sushi for sale are left with very very fresh fish heads.  And they put these out for sale at very reasonable prices!  Whoppee yeah!  Well as least for fish head lovers.  

For those of us in the know, fish head is deliriously delicious, amirite?  Fat and fatty meat and cheek meat (yum!) and soft cartilage, crispy skin...  Oh yeah...seriously yummy.  

The only thing I draw the line at is the eyes (which some folk adore.)  No fish eyes for me, well, at least no more fish eyes, not after my 媽媽 tricked a dumb 7 year old me into eating fish eyes cuz "it would make me smarter."  Or was it "make my eyes prettier"?  Ummm...note to 媽媽...didn't work on both counts...

But I digress.  Back to super fresh off the hook fish heads.  Available at my nearby supermarket!  What to do with such a treat?  Fish head's usually done up in a curry, like in Singapore and Malaysia.  Or perhaps in a braise.  

However, being lazy fish lover types, here my 老公's Salt Baked Fish Head 鹽焗魚頭, the sublimely perfect, wonderously yummilicious and truly the easiest way to cook a fish head!  

amber skipjack, baked, chinese, fish head, recipe, salt, yellowtail, 五條鰤, 鹽烤魚頭, 鹽焗魚頭,

The number one rule for this dish to be spectacular is that the fish head has to be super duper fresh!  Like, sashimi fresh!  Therefore hover near the sashimi counters at your local supermarket and snatch up the fresh heads as they come out!  

Remember to check for that freshness by looking that fish right in the eye.  If a glossy and clear eye stares right back at you then it's a go!

Any large fresh fish head would work for this dish but we got inspired by our super fresh find of the amber skipjack also known as japanese yellowtail, buri and hamachi.  (In Chinese known as the 五條鰤.

This flavorful buttery textured fatty fish is often used for sashimi and sushi and cooks up tender and meaty.  And this way of baking the fish head with just simple seasoning and a splash of lemon is the very best way to showcase such fresh and flavorful meat.  OMG so good...I'm drooling...going to rush out to supermarket to see if I can get lucky and snag me a fish head for tonight's dinner!

The thing we think is so neat-o about this way of preparing fish head is that it requires minimum work for maximum results.  Just salt and pepper the fish head and pop it in the oven.  Bake till golden and crispy.  Squeeze lemon over all and serve hot and crackling.  So good...I promise!

amber skipjack, baked, chinese, fish head, recipe, salt, yellowtail, 五條鰤, 鹽烤魚頭, 鹽焗魚頭,
Salt Baked Fish Head Recipe
Prep time: 12 mins  Marination time: 20 mins



Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).  If you're going to use an handmade aluminum tray (see below) then remove the oven shelf from oven.  The fish head should be sliced in half lengthwise already.  If not be sure and ask the fish counter to slice it for you.

Wash and hang dry the fish head for about 10 mins or until quite dry.  Use paper towel to soak up any remaining moisture.  

Fold a 24" length of aluminum foil in half to double it and then fold up 1" on all four edges to make a tray large enough to hold the fish head and also fit in your oven.  (Or use a thin bottomed baking tray.  The idea is to allow maximum heat penetration to the bottom of the fish.)  Place aluminum tray on to removed oven shelf.  

Place fish head on tray cut side down.  Sprinkle garlic salt evenly and generously all over top of fish head.  Sprinkle with black pepper.  

Slide oven shelf into middle of hot oven and bake for 10-15 mins (depending on size of fish head).  Turn heat to broil (top heat only) and bake for additional 10 mins or until the fish skin is golden and crispy.  

Remove oven shelf carefully and set down on table.  Transfer fish head to serving platter, squeeze lemon all over and serve hot with lemon wedges.  Enjoy the feast my dearest fish lovers!



  1. So you can get fish heads at Wellcome or Park'N Shop?

    1. Hey Lolai - you can get salmon heads at the wellcomes or P&S that also sell sashimi. For more exotic fish head try the Japanese grocery stores that sell sashimi like Yata. Also I’ve found fish heads sold at many of the frozen meats stores that have sprung up everywhere these days. ~ellen 😊